In recent years there has been increasing concern about Internet discussion being manipulated by political actors to further their agenda. The current research assessed if the use of the technique of astroturfing is effective at changing peoples attitudes by
studying the role of normative influence in online commenting behaviour. Results found no support for the hypothesis, that descriptive norms, as operationalised by the type of comment in the majority in a comment section, could influence people to leave comments more supportive of the majority. The results suggest that astroturfing is not an effective tool in changing attitudes when group identity is not salient.