Fighting for freerecyling

Leicester is astruturfed

Astro-turf pitches.
Image via Wikipedia

Leicester Freecycle group decided to leave TFN.  To protect themselves from trademark infringement they relabelled themselves as realcycle, and so their group website is and so I guess that should have been the end of the matter.

However it seems that TFN has greated an astroturf group called leicester-freecycle and have automatically “joined” 11474 members since the group’s creation on August 14th, 2009, just 3 days ago.

Now creating a group is one thing.  Adding members en-masse is something totally different.  From my memory, Yahoo terms and conditions explicitly forbid using the joining approach to adding new members without their permission.  So to invite members to join would be acceptable, but to actually add them is – again, in my opinion, not.

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August 22, 2009 - Posted by | astroturf | , ,


  1. I agree totally, it’s not acceptable to just automatically “join” members.

    However, you should check your facts, it wasn’t TFN that took this action, it was members of IAFC.

    Do you still think it was wrong?

    Comment by stillamod | September 11, 2009 | Reply

  2. Thanks Stillamod. To sign people up to a group automatically is against Yahoo TOS so it would be wrong for anyone to do it, even IAFCmods.

    Comment by andyswarbs | September 11, 2009 | Reply

  3. Where on earth did this phrase “astroturfing” spring up from?


    Comment by Michael | September 26, 2009 | Reply

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