Copyright astroturfers target Torontoist

The popular Torontoist blog found that all the comments on its coverage of the new Canadian copyright law were a little...similar. Turns out that Torontoist has been targetted by the astroturf website that the US record-labels started, pretending to be just a group of Canadian citizens worried about copyright. The site has instructed its "members" to correct Torontoist's misapprehension that just because the overwhelming majority of Canadians who participated in the copyright consultation rejected the American approach of protecting DRM, even when DRM was used to take away legal rights, that the Canadian government should listen to its citizens. (Thanks, Ted!)

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    1. Let them know on their Facebook fan page:

      http://www.facebook.com/balancedcopyright

      They moderate comments on the main site, which means that any dissenting opinion disappears into the moderation black hole. They’ll also (potentially) block your IP.

      Tip: you need to ‘like’ the page to comment, but you can immediately unlike it after you post.

  1. According to the Torontoist article, it appears that leaving comments was a “suggested action” listed on the Balanced Copyright page.

    If that’s the case, and the people doing the commenting are just fans of the cause who followed the suggestions, then that sounds more like standard activist organizing than astro-turfing. If they were paid or required to do so that would be different.

  2. Misspelling on first sentence: The popular Torontist

    That or all the other references are misspelled.

  3. err, scrap that last comment, reading comprehension fail on my part. was slightly confusing though.

    1. You’re only human: anyone with an ounce of taste will hallucinate some less awful word to replace “Torontoist”.

  4. that sounds more like standard activist organizing than astro-turfing. If they were paid or required to do so that would be different.

    If they’re making virtually the same cut-and-paste comment, it’s astroturf. They can be paid in money, privilege or front-row seats for the Rapture. It’s still astroturf because it’s still fake.

  5. i don’t see anything wrong with this. this is a natural part of advertising nowadays. they got caught out, so they fail.

    in general, the number of ppl who, after reading blatantly gamed comments from effectively anonymous posters on any website, changed their opinion as a result, is I would hope, countable on the fingers of one foot.

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