New word of the month – astroturfing. Meaning: faking a grassroots movement, by disguising a propaganda campaign so it looks like a spontaneous public reaction, and continues to spread with the help of unsuspecting independent activists. An example described in an issue of the eSkeptic newsletter from May 2008. Bill C-51

4 thoughts on “neologisms

  1. Maria:

    Thanks from Canada. At Ottawa Skeptics, we have been fighting against the astroturf campaign referred to in the article. The StopC51 faux advocacy group has been making outlandish claims, like "you will be arrested for serving herbal tea to your children" or "it will soon be illegal to buy Vitamin C in Canada." The claims are breathtakingly ridiculous but still readily believed by people who are suspicious of government and pharmaceutical companies and insecure about retaining access to their natural health products (NHPs).

    I doubt that you are interested in the details of the underlying issue, but if you are, we have created a resource link page to our articles debunking StopC51 and to background info on Bill C-51. Bill C-51 just seeks to enhance the enforcement measures in the Food and Drugs Act to protect the safety and quality of drugs, NHPs, food, cosmetics and medical devices. Currently, Health Canada can only fine manufacturers five thousand dollars for selling a tainted product and cannot mandate the product's recall. Bill C-51 updates those powers to provide for increased fines and product recalls. StopC51 is twisting those enhanced powers into an imagined government/Big Pharma conspiracy to eliminate NHPs in Canada. You can imagine the rest.

    Barry Green
    Ottawa Skeptics

  2. If you think the Swedish posts here are too hard to understand, Alexandre, there might be an option to translate into (some sort of) English (or French if you prefer that) in the reader you use. I noticed the other day that Google Reader can do this now. I'll try if it works on the French posts in your blog, so they make sense in English. I'm too lazy to read them as they are.

  3. Well, the word 'astroturfing' got on my radar in the recent discussions about the IPRED laws (European versions of the Intellectual Property Piracy stuff). So I googled and found a good example about something completely different, from a skeptic source.

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