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Please support this campaign by adding this image to your blog or website and linking it back to this page. If you have any problems with this, please contact Paull Young.

What's New

Recently Added Resources

Walk the Talk

  • Keith Jackson is analysing the big PR firms public committment to ethical conduct and making a public call to action supporting the anti-astroturfing campaign. Read more here.

Astroturfing Case Studies

  • John Cass has created a page devoted to astroturfing case studies.

Anti-Astroturfing Code of Ethics

Kami Huyse proposes an anti-astroturfing code of ethics and asks for input:

  • I will not fabricate a public concern by paying or coercing individuals to falsely act as concerned citizens. I will only seek to help give voice to those who already hold an existing concern and/or provide education to stakeholders that might be affected by a particular issue.
  • When supporting grassroots efforts, I will ensure that I am transparent in all my actions and clearly and publicly state what actions I am taking and which organization or client I represent.
  • I will never knowingly distort of falsify information to help my client/interest achieve a strategic/emotional advantage in a public debate.
  • I will encourage all grassroots supporters to be open and honest in all of their communications, just as I will be open and honest in mine.


This page has been created to provide a list of resources concerning astroturfing, while also stating the goals of the Anti-Astroturfing campaign and showcasing a list of PR professionals who oppose the practice.

Paull Young and Trevor Cook started this campaign, sparked by the The PRIA and Astroturfing post at Young PR.

Many thanks to Erin Caldwell for creating the anti-astroturfing image, and Robert French for providing some technical support and advice.

Please feel free to add resources to this page or your name to the list of supports of the Anti-Astroturfing Campaign list. For an edit password for this page contact Paull Young or Constantin Basturea.

If you have any questions, or there is anything you would like added to this page, please contact Paull Young at young.paull at

How You Can Help

  • Join the conversation - write against astroturfing on your blog or comment on the blog posts listed on this site
  • Declare you and / your agency astroturf free
  • Expose possible examples of astroturfing Astroturfing.CaseStudies
  • Link to this page with the javascript button provided and add your name to the list of supporters below
  • Call on your politicians to take tougher legislative action against astroturfing
  • Call on your industry / professional association to speak out against astroturfing
  • Encourage friends and colleagues to get involved

Anti-Astroturfing Statement

We oppose the practice of astroturfing, defined above, in any form. The practice should never be a part of a public relations campaign as it is anti-democratic, unethical, immoral and often illegal.

We will attempt to raise awareness of this practice, expose it for what it is, and encourage our fellow communicators to join us in opposition.

We call for all professional communication bodies to strongly, publicly and actively oppose astroturfing; alongside PR agencies, individual practitioners and bloggers.

List of Supporters of the Anti-Astroturfing Campaign

Read the list the list of PR agencies, bloggers, practitioners and students who support the anti-astroturfing campaign - and add yourself to the list

Anti-Astroturfing Resources

Read a detailed list of blog posts, media articles, websites and podcasts concerning astroturfing and the anti-astroturfing campaign. The lists are organised by specific debate and each resource has a brief summary.


From Wikipedia: In American politics and advertising, the term astroturfing describes formal public relations projects which deliberately seek to engineer the impression of spontaneous, grassroots behavior. The goal is the appearance of independent public reaction to a politician, political group, product, service, event, or similar entities by centrally orchestrating the behavior of many diverse and geographically distributed individuals.

From Astroturfing describes the posting of supposedly independent messages on Internet boards by interested companies and individuals In American politics, the term is used to describe formal public relations projects which deliberately give the impression that they are spontaneous and populist reactions. The term comes from AstroTurf -- the fake grass used in many indoor American football stadiums. The contrast between truly spontaneous or "grassroots" efforts and an orchestrated public relations campaign, is much like the distinction between real grass and AstroTurf.

From the Jargon File: (The Jargon File is a compendium of hacker slang)
astroturfing: n.
  1. The use of paid shills to create the impression of a popular movement, through means like letters to newspapers from soi-disant 'concerned citizens', paid opinion pieces, and the formation of grass-roots lobbying groups that are actually funded by a PR group (AstroTurf? is fake grass; hence the term). See also sock puppet, tentacle.
  2. What an individual posting to a public forum under an assumed name is said to be doing.


Anti-Astroturfing Campaign Index of Pages

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Page last modified on April 30, 2007, at 11:46 UTC