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Likhter P.L. Astroturfing Technologies on a Point of Law

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lc.jvolsu.2020.4.17

Pavel L. Likhter, Candidate of Sciences (Jurisprudence), Associate Professor, Department of Private and Public Law, Penza State University, Krasnaya St, 40, 440000 Penza, Russian Federation, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8950-4325


Introduction: in the social conditions that are changing under the influence of information and communication technologies, it is of particular importance to protect the interests of consumers from illegal actions of unscrupulous market participants. Increasingly, astroturfing technologies are becoming an integral part of marketing and trading strategies, which make it possible to provide distorted data to the general public under the guise of objective information. The purpose of the study is to find an adequate definition of astroturfing on a point of law; to distinguish legitimate marketing practices from illegal acts that distort perceptions of a product or company; to identify the law enforcement practices in foreign countries; to evaluate the existing approaches to solving the problem in order to correct the Russian legislation. The paper uses the methods of description and interpretation; normative-value, system, logical, dialectical, structural-functional approaches. Results: the forms and features of astroturfing are considered in order to develop its definition; the ways to counteract such technologies are studied and compared; there is a need for amendments that could fill the gaps in the legal regulation of astroturfing. Conclusions: the term “astroturfing” is formulated and its possible forms are listed. It is proposed to investigate the possibility of recognizing contractual relationships, whose subject is online publishing of fabricated reviews, cheating likes, bot mailing via chats, etc. as anti-social transactions. It is considered appropriate to tighten responsibility for the use of astroturfing technologies.

Key words: astroturfing, unfair competition, consumer protection, anti-social transactions.

Citation. Likhter P.L. Astroturfing Technologies on a Point of Law. Legal Concept = Pravovaya paradigma, 2020, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 131-136. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lc.jvolsu.2020.4.17

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