Contrived, inauthentic or misleading use of social media resources such as online communities, blogs, Twitter profiles, Wikipedia entries, Facebook pages, etc. to manipulate or to create a false or misleading perception of a company, organization, candidate or cause.
Fauxcial Media is the "Web 2.0" equivalent of atroturfing i.e., the creation of fake grassroots campaigns in PR/Public Relations.
WHAT CONSTITUTES FAUXCIAL MEDIA:
• Businesses pretending to be bloggers.
• Businesses pretending to be journalists.
• Businesses pretending to be “Joe Blow” in order to flog their products in blog comments.
(Bullet points courtesy of marketingexperimentsblog.com)
EXAMPLES OF FAUXCIAL MEDIA:
- Cisco's Human Network - wrote all Cisco-related Wikipedia entries; had vloggers try to write about the Human Network. Got themselves to #2 in Google organic search
- Whole Foods CEO John Mackey used an alias to ding detractors on forums
- "Wal-Marting Across America" used a real journalist and real photographer, but set them up as simply Wal-Mart fans, traveling across America, parking their RV at Wal-Mart parking lots.
(Examples courtesy of Scott Monty - http://www.scottmonty.com/2008/03/suxorz-worst-social-media-of-2007.html)