Astroturf is a a carefully constructed narrative by unseen special interests designed to manipulate your opinion.
Surreptitious astroturf methods are now more important to these interests than traditional lobbying of Congress. There’s an entire PR industry built around it in Washington.
Astroturfers often disguise themselves and publish blogs, write letters to the editor, produce ads, start non-profits, establish Facebook and Twitter accounts, edit Wikipedia pages or simply post comments online to try to fool you into thinking an independent or grassroots movement is speaking.
Astroturf’s biggest accomplishment is when it crosses over into semi-trusted news organizations that unquestioningly cite or copy it.
The whole point of astroturf is to try to convince you there’s widespread support for or against an agenda when there’s not
Groups related to Gun Safety Action Fund, Inc. were 2014's top Astroturfers. These groups include Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Everytown, Everytown for Gun Safety, Gun Sense, It’s Time for Gun Sense in America, Gun Sense Voter, I’m a Gun Sense Voter, Moms Take the Hill and Stroller Jam.
The groups present themselves as grassroots organizations of “mayors, moms survivors and everyday Americans.” They are spearheaded by former New York Mayor and multi-billionaire Michael Bloomberg, and former PR professional Shannon Watts. In 2013, they announced a $50 million political campaign to try to counter the efforts of the formidable gun rights lobby.