Found a new article. Very interesting stuff!
Sock puppetry, astroturfing, and the marketing ‘shill’ game
“In online discussion media, parties may express specific opinions in order to further the interests of an organization in which they have an interest, such as a commercial vendor or special interest group.”
“In addition, some online shills use what’s known as sock puppetry. This is where they sign on as one user soliciting recommendations for a specific product or service. They then sign on as a different user pretending to be a satisfied customer of a specific company. In some jurisdictions and circumstances, this type of activity may be (and should be) illegal.”
“Astroturfing refers to political, advertising, or public relations campaigns that are formally planned by an organization or company, but designed to mask their true origins to create the impression of being spontaneous, popular “grassroots” behaviour. (The term refers to AstroTurf, a brand of synthetic carpeting designed to look like natural grass). Astroturfing campaigns are widely considered by us PR types to be behind the growing trend towards noisy health care protests, town hall meetings, and the anti-plastic bag ban movement in the U.S.”