Astroturf blogging

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"[W]ell-paid and well-connected firms"—including NetVocates: "Blog Intelligence and Advocacy Service (BIAS)" [1] and the Rendon Group—are "orchestrating professional astroturf comments on weblogs", Teresa Nielsen Hayden of the Making Light Blog wrote August 30, 2006.

"If you want to get some idea of the resources being devoted to falsifying and suppressing legitimate public discourse, consider that paid professionals are being hired to post agenda-pushing comments on midrange blogs," Hayden wrote.

"The killing aspect of astroturf is that it poisons the well of discourse. Before this, you could at least have a degree of confidence that the stupid was authentic stupid. I'm not sure if I can deal with sorting out the fake stupid," John D. commented September 2, 2006, at Making Light Blog.

IP Tracking

Democracy Data & Communications, LLC (DDC)

But ... IP Tracking Does Not Tell All

"Now here is my pitch for why even the linked and referenced astroturf-observing bloggers aren’t being (legitmately) paranoid enough," Ann Bartow wrote August 31, 2006, for the Feminist Law Professors Blog: "Many seem to think that you can track this stuff through IP addresses. However, it is very easy for astroturfers to use a proxy server to shield or falsify an IP address, and/or to simply hire people to shill from home, using ordinary consumer-based ISPs."


"If you see this Website mentioned in various comments sections, etc., there’s a good chance it was put there by someone who got cash for the placement," The Canonist Blog warns:

"This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 26th, 2006 at 11:15 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed."

According to a WHOIS search, CEASEFIRECAMPAIGN.ORG was created July 18, 2006, through Go Daddy Software and is registered through Domains by Proxy, Inc.

The IP Address:——comes from the NetRange -, which belongs to Speedfox, Inc., of Austin, Texas, Trey Cansler, tech contact at 512 608-9990.

Sock Puppetry & Trolling

net neutrality

Cynthia Brumfield wrote May 21, 2006, at IP Democracy that for the past several months, she had noticed that "a group of commenters to blog posts related to network neutrality tend to say the same things over and over again" and that "a core group of the same commenters" "show up time and again saying the same things (although not always phrased the same way) repeatedly" "typically [saying] in one form or another: we don’t need network neutrality regulations because there is no evidence of abuse and in any event government intervention in the Internet marketplace will mess everything up."

"Now, along comes another commenter," Brumfield wrote, called 'sagecast', who wrote March 30, 2006, in the comments section: "this group is an organized tag-team of industry representatives, semi-sock puppets if you will, who troll the Internet making such comments to give the false impression of broad-based support of industry-friendly positions. ... By tag-teaming the blogs, this small handful of individuals gives the false impression of broad popular support for an industry-friendly position."

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