Origin: The term "astroturf" is a play on "grassroots". "Grassroot movements" arise organically through the people. "Astroturfing", then, is artificial grassroots, fake grassroots. Verb: astroturf: 1 to join an online discussion pretending to be an independent member of the community but is in fact a surrogate for some stakeholder - company, political faction, individual - who has something to gain or lose. Astroturfing: Wikipedia: Astroturfing is a form of advocacy often in support of a political or corporate agenda designed to give the appearance of a "grassroots" movement. The goal of such campaigns is to disguise the efforts of a political and/or commercial entity as an independent public reaction to some political entity—a politician, political group, product, service or event. The term is a derivation of AstroTurf, a brand of synthetic carpeting designed to look like natural grass.
Astroturfers attempt to orchestrate the actions of apparently diverse and geographically distributed individuals, by both overt ("outreach", "awareness", etc.) and covert (disinformation) means. Astroturfing may be undertaken by an individual promoting a personal agenda, or highly organized professional groups with money from large corporations, unions, non-profits, or activist organizations. Very often, the efforts are conducted by political consultants who also specialize in opposition research. Beneficiaries are not "grass root" campaigners but distant organizations that orchestrate such campaigns. Bottom line: another way to tell lies, indoctrinate, and manipulate people. Fauxtography click here.