Hello, friends if you are a US citizen or legal permanent resident we invite you to take a stand against astroturfing and sign our petition to have the US Congress enforce the laws and break up the main 3 tech giants.
Sign the petition here:
Astroturfing is a multi-billion dollar industry that by exploiting the anonymity of the Internet allows a small number of corporate puppeteers to illegally control and manipulate the opinions of a larger, worldwide audience. This means of propaganda is far-reaching and intrusive; from fake Amazon reviews directing consumer purchases, to Spam blog articles intended influence page one search results to the total fabrication of fake news, the Astroturfer is controlling the Internet community’s buying habits and opinions all to the Astroturfer’s advantage. Astroturfing is so exceptionally common that it accounts for over a third of the reviews on any given product. On a commercial level, Astroturfing robs consumers of billions of dollars by propagating misinformation, and on a larger scale strips the Internet of its ability to act as a platform for fruitful constructive debate.
In today’s age of e-commerce, any corporation or special interest organization selling a product, service, brand or ideology can manipulate news, stories, or on line reviews to favor their own motive. The immense scope of this deceitful practice is detailed in TrendMicro’s report, which discusses the many venues Astroturfing can manifest itself in and just how remarkably common such Internet manipulations actually are. Ed’sTechReport refines this idea in his case study of the small thermal paste manufacturing company, Arctic Silver. Arctic Silver’s unethical practices serve as a microcosm of common Astroturfing techniques; this one small company generates billions of Spam pages and fake Amazon reviews, posts advertisements under the guise of “testimonials” on forums, and utilizes loopholes in search engine algorithms in an effort to position themselves at the top of the page one search results. Unfortunately, this case study is quickly becoming the new normal; an estimated four in every five top competitors in any sales category competitors are undertaking similar kinds of consumer manipulation.
Astroturfing is such a widespread practice across all retail markets and has become so ingrained in our culture that most every consumer product that catches your eye, every piece of news propaganda that makes its way onto your social media news-feed, online blogs and product reviews as well contains a significant percentage of fraudulent presentations designed to fulfill a corporate agenda. And not only is Astroturfing deceitful, unethical, and manipulative, it is also illegal.
Economically Astroturfing has negatively affected small businesses and culturally it has certainly contributed to massive revenue losses in the music industry as it is one of the preferred methods of backlinking to piracy torrent sites.
It is no secreted that amongst America’s top exports to the world is its culture via music, film, and gaming, astroturfing has been used by political organizations in an attempt to cheat songwriters out of fair compensation.
We are requesting the US Congress to direct its attention to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to enforce false advertising laws already in place to prevent dishonest Internet propaganda from continuing to ravage small businesses. Individuals have a right to UN-doctored, unbiased information, a right that is slowly being chipped away at as Astroturfing gains popularity and influence.
We are also requesting you the US Congress break up the big tech companies and regulate them.