Astroturf: Health Insurers Caught Paying off Facebook Users

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This is not related to climate denial, except to the degree that slippery corporate disinformation is contagious, but health insurers have been caught paying off Facebook users to write letters to Congress opposing health care reform.

As reported in the Business Insider, a consortium of health insurers, collected under the group Get Health Reform Right, are paying Facebook users “virtual currency” – which is useful in Facebook games like “FarmVille,” “Mafia Wars” and “Friends For Sale” – in return for those users to fill out a questionaire. And when they do so, the program automatically kicks out a letter to Congress.

The system dupes the user and deceives Congress – it piles lies on lies and it should be illegal, because the more we tolerate this kind of dishonest corporate manipulation of the public conversation and the democratic process, the harder it will be to deal effectively with issues like health care and climate change.

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