The exposure of an alleged astroturfing campaign (fake grassroots blog) highlights the vague area where PR meets social media
To astroturf or not to astroturf? That is the question.
This time the alleged astroturfing, or creation of a grassroots movement without the grass or the roots, involves the 24-year-old son of meat-processing company Agriprocessors Inc.’s former CEO.
The son, Getzel Rubashkin, started a blog in defense of dad’s embattled meat processing plant in Postville, Iowa. Federal immigration officials raided the plant and reportedly snared hundreds of illegal workers.
Shortly after the raid, a blog by “people living and working” in Postville appeared. The blog, PostvilleVoices.com, sought to defend the plant by goading public officials and sniping at the media.
“Some things you know are there but you’ll never see, like the dark side of the moon, for example,” the blog’s administrator wrote. “Or a news outlet that would report a positive piece on the Agriprocessors mess, instead of repeating rumors and allegations.”