We need your help to find AstroTurf!
I am sorry I do not know who coined the term in this context, but it certainly has more than a ring about it. AstroTurf is when a new Yahoo Group is formed that may (or may not) be used to replace an existing Yahoo Group. Typically it has the same name as the existing group with some minor alteration in name. For example, with Cherwell Valley the addition of the “word” UK was inserted. Another example I have just read about is “CowichanFreecycle”. In this instance the AstroTurf space had the word “Valley” inserted.
Features of AstroTurf groups is that they have closed membership, have all the standard features of a new TFN group, viz 3 members, closed membership and all the hallmarks of a TFN group.
Unfortunately a downside of Yahoo Groups is that it is very easy to hide AstroTurf groups. They can be created with any name and then renamed at the last moment, as they prepare to go live. Therefore we need YOUR help to keep an eye open for these groups. They can appear at any moment and threaten at least to confuse existing group members.
But how many AstroTurf groups are there? Right now it seems that I hear of a new AstroTurf group almost daily. So vigilance is critical.
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