AstroTurf ? Is it a type of Grass?

The reality of astroturf is likely to be a "combination of constant identity verification,with control oscillating between vindicators and vigilantes."

by Victor Cherubim

Astroturf is not a special type of grass used on a cricket pitch,perhaps, as one could guess?

A woman on AstroTurf 

It could also not be a surface on a racecourse,which some horses fancy?

It has no relation to the what the Astronauts saw when they landed on the Moon 50 years ago?

The word refers to a communication technique where "political campaigners attempt to create the perception of an upswell of grassroots support for a cause."

It is not dissimilar to the illusion in the odd one out in the puzzle below.

What happens next?

If, Astroturf is a novel way, the practice of creating the appearance of grassroots support for a position by hiring lobbyists to promote that position?

Or if it is establishing ostensibly independent advocacy group(s) or even citizen groups that are primarily conceived,created, connived and/or funded by politicians,industry or public relations to project an image?

Or if it is the future of lobbying, what happens next/

The reality of astroturf is likely to be a "combination of constant identity verification,with control oscillating between vindicators and vigilantes."

It is the computational propaganda which is the attempt to manipulate public opinion through automation and algorithmic systems to spread "political junk."

Recent use of this technique?

This technique is sophisticated that recently an online paper, "Colombo Telegraph" dateline 1 August 2019, by " Arundathie Sangakkara," compiled a lengthy piece entitled:"I will vote for JVP"at the next Presidential election in Sri Lanka, with all purported authenticity.

The funny part of it is that Anura Kumara Dissanayake or ADK, -the JVP Leader in Sri Lanka, as he was referred to in the article, was projected as "humane" whilst the image of the JVP of old was " defined to us in our upper class world" as "inhumane" for their butchery in the 1980's.

The so named author hardly elaborates who was responsible for the carnage?

Blind leading the blind?

The paradox is that the online post elicited 99 comments from named and unnamed responses, with many views ascribed contradictory to the author, such as "a vote for JVP is a wasted vote, it will strengthen the Rajapaksas,".or "The Pohottuwa is not stupid enough to count the Muslim vote." Besides,the public comments listed manipulates by hyberbole, "who cares who captains the sinking ship called, Sri Lanka."

It clearly appears the author was a fictitious writer using the Sangakkara name to give credulity, attract attention of its readers. It also seems likely that fictitious comments were added to embellish the article.

It also clearly sounds that it is the masterpiece of of the the two main contending parties for the Presidency, wanting to project an image that the public wants a political change, but by subliminal inference,the opposite is projected in the feeble minds of the public.

The goal of this method of "communication strategy" is to amplify or suppress political information, perhaps,through "lies and confusion and manufactured false consensus giving the illusion of popularity."

What then is astro-turf?

Astro turf is derived from a brand of synthetic carpeting designed to resemble natural grass, as a play on the word,"grass roots."

Will astroturf be the future of the "communication ecosystem," who knows?

You can fool the public some time,some of the public all the time, but not all the public, all of the time.


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