The Battle for Hearts, Minds, and Butts: The Morale-War

2021-08-14

Header Art by Major Sniper

The Morale-War

The morale of the line members has generally been attributed as the key factor to the recent change of the war’s direction. The morale of the troops and their willingness to fight day after day has allowed the Goonswarm Federation to last that one day longer than the bad guys.

To quote Noraus (leader of the large Fraternity Alliance) from his reddit post on August 5:

“As it turns out, the Imperium are not like a collation (sic) we have faced before. They have been stockpiling supplies for a decade, and their morale is unbreakable.”

https://i.imgur.com/lsWAUd2.jpg

High praise from our retreating enemy and highly accurate with regards to the goon morale. I may be biased, but I think much of that boils down to three key fronts in the morale war.

The Honesty Front

My morale-war analysis looks at the differences in the methods and attitudes of the various players, starting with the honesty of the organizational leaders. Leadership sets the tone and establishes the organization’s norms and values.

The Leaders to Each Other

The war showed the leadership of both organizations shouting across the no-man’s land of the T5Z gate and from the walls of 1DQ. Middle school bantering and name calling to goad the enemy into a mistake, and pointing out inconsistencies between words and deeds to shame and enemy into action. This tactic was effective for two reasons. First, the line members took inspiration from their leaders. Second, there were some mistakes made based on reaction to the name-calling.

I may be showing bias, but I don’t think many would dispute that the Imperium cleaned the clocks of PAPI when it comes to the cross-talk. When comparing the wrestling heel persona of The Mittani to the way that the Council of Wardens called out Mr. Mittens for his name calling – it speaks for itself.

The Leaders to the Troops

Next there were the leaders who spoke directly to their troops and impacting morale. There are rousing Churchillian (I’ll be damned that’s a real word) firesides every week. Or in the townhall, erm, state of the union, umm, townhalls of our enemies. This direct messaging to the troops played a critical part of keeping the mission clear in everyone’s hearts and minds.

A clean sweep for the Imperium. From the very outset of the war, the PAPI messaging has been scattered at best. If the problem were only the inability to be consistent in messaging, that could be forgiven, epecially across so many organizations, and considering the egos at play. But the execution and production values were also poor, and became an object of ridicule and parody themselves.

In recent days, a few of the PAPI leaders have stepped up and spoken honestly about the war. Dunk Dinkle has spoken to BRAVE about the state of PAPI, the war, and the grim prospects of the future. Dunk received high marks on Reddit by his direct tone and sticking to the facts. Unsurprisingly, those who still cling to the idea of PAPI have turned on Dunk, primarily for not supporting the idea that PAPI is doing just fine on their route from Delve.

Maybe if PAPI leadership had been more direct about the war and events, they might have had less burnout. Never underestimate the willingness of people to face difficulty and rise above the challenge. Line members suddenly realized they were being lied to, and morale tanked. The lies cost more than they were worth.

The Leaders to the World

Battles also waged between the various talk shows available to the EVE Online community. Like the USO of old, these periodic shows became a key clearing house of news, propaganda, and entertainment. The Meta Show provides all three of those to the troops of the Imperium, week after week.

I spoke to Brisc Rubal about what makes the Meta Show so effective as a messaging platform.:

“The Meta Show is the premiere EVE talk show, and we have gotten to that point because we put on a solid show that people want to watch. We do our best to provide entertainment, news, and the best analysis you can get from some of the smartest and most interesting guests you’ll find in New Eden. We put a lot of effort into our production values and it shows. We know there are lot of choices for shows to watch out there and we do our best to be as truthful, interesting and funny as we can every week.”

Brisc Rubal, Co-host of The Meta Show

I also spoke with Redline XIII about his feelings and the importance of talk shows on the war. When asked about what made his show stand out, he provided the following:

Our strength is that we do not take bribes from blocs or alliances and, under the same principles, do not represent any particular group. Instead, we represent the whole of New Eden (or whoever wants to have a voice at the time). This makes our show different from every other show because you don’t have to be an alliance leader or executive, a big name FC or even someone who’s played the game for a long time, to have a voice (as long as you’re not an idiot).

Redline XIII, Host of Trash Talk Tuesday

The Streaming Front

In the past, entertaining fleets was often a tricky proposition – full of dangerous click-bait in fleet chat. Fleets featured clips of videos, funny pictures, and good links. But beware, those good clips are hidden within a swarm of horrible links to 4-chan and worse. Summer children will never have to debate clicking that link, in fear of waffles or lemons. Today’s fleet entertainment has been much improved by the intervention of the Twitch platform.

Modern fleets have sumo fights with Asher, or Bob Ross for the happy tree enthusiasts, and everything in between. For the war, the streams are best represented by two mascots. Mind1 for the Imperium and RonUSMC for PAPI. Both of these streamers made no bones about their affiliation. These streams became a major part of fleet fights in particular. Ron offeredperspective and opinions from the PAPI perspective, while Mind1 would focus on DJing tunes for the fleet.

The Top PAPI Streamer

Depending on your affiliation, your bias will likely carry over. The PAPI side, at least up to M2-XFE, were supported by Ron’s stream. His commentary became the song of his people and set the reddit messaging. However, Imperium propogandists often made a special effort to lampoon Ron’s stream. Several hot takes became the focus of songs through the course of the war. Even yours truly took a few shots at him, going so far as to make a special bee based on his accounts from the fights to put down a Keepstar in NPC Delve. Welcome to EVE, Golden-Bee-Trievers.

The GoldenBeeTrievers

All good things must end. After Ron lost his titan at M2-, and his SRP was denied, he publicly turned on PAPI leadership. Several hot takes for songs ensued and he stopped streaming Eve completely. Ceding the ground entirely to Mind1. Ron has since then spent the last several months streaming anything but EVE (and anywhere but Delve). However, he recently shifted to re-streaming the early PAPI victories, while PAPI retreats to the Dronelands.

Direct from the Battle-Bard

I reached out the Mind1 for his thoughts on the war and how the leadership has cited him as a key part of the victory.

It may sound silly but I am very proud to be the Battle Bard. I honestly just love DJing and being able to make tidi fights a little less boring. I am just glad that I could be of some sort of help in the best way I know how. Its hard for me to realize the impact it has had as I just see myself as a nerd who like to DJ and shoot space ships.

Having a dedicated and talented personality has been a massive boon to the team. On more than one occasion the Imperium has had cameos from celebrities like Kenny G, and Napoleon Dynamite. So, I asked Mind1 if he was specifically approached to be the battle bard for these fleets.

It kind of just ended up that way. I had DJ’d a couple of fights leading up to the war and then the SOTG was scheduled to kick off the war. So I planned a pre-war kick-off set and played before the announcement and then played for another 10 hours afterwords (siq).

The streamers were the most visible part of the morale war. That goes without saying. But in a lot of ways, this front of the war had all the subtlety of a nightclub base-line; open to everyone, with line members yelling directly. So basically local chat, but with good music.

The Reddit Wars

Srsli, Battle Bard and Prominent Redditswarm Member

Now to the less obvious front of the war, full of misdirection, lies, and memes. On to the Reddit War.

I have brought up the fact that the Imperium has been willing to pay for talent and to get specific results. I now have to start on the war for Reddit. In the interest of full disclosure, I have been an active participant on this front, and been part of the assault on Dreddit’s home turf of r/Eve.

For the few people who don’t know, TEST in general (and Dreddit in particular) have viewed the r/Eve subreddit as their home, in much the same way as the Goons of old viewed somethingawful.com as their home. Setting Goons to attack r/Eve was truly an attack at the heart of TEST players, and thus, Redditswarm was born.

The Pings

Reportedly, Redditswarm’s purpose is specifically to post content to r/Eve, undermining the morale and solidarity of the messaging for the PAPI coalition. The SIG would, over the course of several months, go on to post many counte- narratives.

The leader of the Ministry of Truth, Cryo_Huren, began issuing pings to the Redditswarm. By all appearances, these pings were intended to go to the members of this new sig, but were accidently issued to all.

The first known Redditswarm Ping

After this first set of orders to spin up sock puppet accounts, the war on Reddit became much more active. Known goon posters started making direct reference to the Redditswarm, but the PAPI posters really latched on, to spread the narrative.

PLEX for Posts

SIG Payments and Drama

Since we have already established that Goons are happy to pay for the time of their members, it is only natural that Redditswarm would pay top posters for their time, effort, and memes.

The concept of plex for posts truly incensed the r/Eve natives. Following a series of posts from goons and defectors alike, Redditswarm became the focal point of conspiracy theories for a number of days and weeks. The salt markets crashed due to excess supply. This reached a peak when noted defector and high volume r/Eve poster Dr Mibbles, showed this gem to everyone.

An Impressive Payout

This is clear evidence that the plex for posting scheme was paying out real dividends. Most of these comments were fairly tongue-in-cheek, but a detailed read of the more than 200 comments show that some people were truly angry. So much so that Reddit moderation was soon making its own drama to try and control things, implementing changes to when memes could be created or posted, and seemingly endless cries of biased moderation abounded.

Meanwhile, Redditswarm became so successful they needed more tools to keep track of their pay outs.

Support Your Local F5 Team

Overall, Redditswarm won the war of Reddit. Salt-mining was off the charts for months. Goon fighters paid billions and billions. Moderation changes and cultural angst. Perhaps the most surprising outcome to the entire war has been the success of Redditswarm, on what is arguably the home field of TEST and PAPI.

The Truth From the Top

I will freely admit, I thought Redditswarm was a meme (partly because I figured I would be invited and get some of that plex-4-posts isk). But, I was never completely sure, so I asked Cryo – just how much was true, and how much wasn’t. In true Goon fashion, he responded with the receipts.

It Was a Meme All Along

You heard it here first. We at INN can fully confirm that redditswarm was a meme all along. Six months of ship-posts and bad posting was all because of a meme, and according to Cryo, it was only supposed to be a fortnightly joke ping.

It was a meme that got out of control

Cryo Huren, Director of Ministry of Truth

The Redditswarm became not only self-propagating (self-propagating propaganda: patent pending), but one step short of self-aware. In large part, the success of Redditswarm was dependent on the dissonance of the PAPI posters. Their willingness to believe the worst possible aspects of Goons enabled them to believe that anything was possible. It only made sense that everything was posted to Reddit was all spin, and they could only be getting paid to create all the fighting. They didn’t really believe what their leaders were telling them, so why would the Goons believe their leaders? Everyone always lies, right?

The Redditswarm was the source of all that is evil in r/Eve, just ask them. Of course it was. No one would dare come into someone else’s home and smear ship-posts on the walls, right? That’s completely uncivilized, and who would dare invade another organization’s home, hell-bent on causing trouble?

Oh, wait.

Wrapping Things Up

It is my opinion that the war did come down to a question of morale, and the good guys won that war. Seir Luciel penned a substantial op-ed where he posits that the line members of Papi lost the war for their leaders. Gray Doc, Seir Luciel’s father, then penned his own rebuttal, suggesting that it was the leadership’s fault for not providing anything to hang line member faith on.

Regardless of which author you believe, both of them underscore the fact that it was butts-in-seats that broke the stalemate. In one case, it was a question of the effectiveness of the leaders’ messaging that made the difference. In the other, victory belongs to the streamers and the esprit-de-corps that came about from the battle-bard or the #1 New World streamer.

My Opinion

I offer that it is a combination off all these components. The leadership messaging for the Imperium has been solid and consistent. We knew it would be hard; we knew it would take time. We knew it would come down to being ready and willing to sit in our chairs for one day longer than the forces of PAPI.

The streams made it those Ti-Di battles fun. They provided the theme songs for the defense, and the lyrics for the parody songs as well. The streamers set the tone, and amplified the varied themes of our line members. In any number of cases, Goons were having fun, while PAPI members were playing anything but EVE and playing anywhere but Delve.

But I feel that it was the victory on Reddit that really made the difference. For proof, I point to the best poster of the war on the PAPI side – one MarcusMurphy. Say what you will, Marcus is a good poster, and can form a coherent argument to support his thoughts and beliefs. Over the course of the war, the dawning realization – both in Eve and on Reddit – was reflected in his posting. His slow realization that the leadership was using the line members could be a study in itself.

Suffice to say, hail to the Imperium for realizing the importance of honesty, and for setting the tones that lead to victory. Praise to the god-emperor of Delve for his consistent messaging, and for his wrestling heel.

Finally, praise to the good posters of Redditswarm and the Ministry of Truth, for facing the hellscape of Reddit. You made sacrifices so that most line members didn’t have to.

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Comments

  • chthulan

    Nice summary. But hot damn! Wish I’d known about the Plex meme… Lol

    August 14, 2021 at 8:12 AM
    • Jeet_Kundo chthulan

      Quintessential low-effort shitpost by Mibbles that day, boy did it stir up some genuine rage

      August 14, 2021 at 6:28 PM
  • Rammel Kas

    It has been truly amazing watching SAPI guys melt down to their own invented boogeymen. No need to touch them. No need to say a thing. Because it seems a lot of what they believe is pure invention and head noise.

    August 14, 2021 at 10:58 AM
  • Seir Luciel

    If people fell for the redditswarm meme it was in part because there has been precedence for it in goonswarm’s past. Recounted in the Groen history vol 1 goonswarm launched an information campaign after it was revealed that BoB got more blueprints from a ccp dev playing a character on BoB. It was a scandal, made even more scandalous as goonswarm exploded it all over the internet, even sites not dedicated to EVE Online.

    According to a CCP response, after an official apology, the devs said goonswarm launched this information campaign on a holiday when many ccp workers were on vacation and were less able to respond/manage pr. When ccp threatened to sue some people for effective libel of the company Groen notes goonswarm leaders got spooked at the prospect of a suit and reeled things back in fast fashion.

    There’s no judgement here. My point is simply that there’s a history of information campaigns and a redditswarm wasn’t/isn’t beyond the real of possibility. There’s a reason people were willing to believe: its happened before — goonswarm has a reputation. Moreover its not actually a bad idea; people get paid working for INN, so why not? What’s one more internet sphere? The Mittani started his rise in Goon Intelligence Agency’s as its spymaster: he knows how to be sneaky/shady and knows the power of (dis)information. He’s a unique leader in that way.

    August 14, 2021 at 12:28 PM
    • Rammel Kas Seir Luciel

      However much you caveat your post, it seems you’ve yet again gone for 3’rd party opinions instead of first person fact checking.

      The source you’re looking for is Kugutsomen. He was not in Goonswarm. What happened was that Lellante snubbed him when it came to pay his fee. Hence the news going nuclear when he found the damning evidence. And you don’t need to go into any smokey rooms to find out the Goonswarm role. Mittani gave his fan fest speech a few years ago laying out the story. For reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_CyrpCnksM

      August 14, 2021 at 2:30 PM
    • Rhivre Seir Luciel

      Can you let me know where in Vol 1 Groen references this?

      August 14, 2021 at 2:46 PM
    • Plexas Aideron Seir Luciel

      Can you cite your sources or did you think you’re the only one that read (you obviously didn’t) the books?

      August 14, 2021 at 2:54 PM
    • GuardianDevil Seir Luciel

      Seir is right, it’s in Vol I, page 171-173.

      August 14, 2021 at 3:14 PM
      • Rhivre GuardianDevil

        The bit about ccp suing goons? Or taking vacation in February?

        August 14, 2021 at 3:23 PM
        • GuardianDevil Rhivre

          The part about the allegations against CCP and BoB and the response from CCP Arkanon. That’s the part what fits into Seir’s comment. Gray Doc quoted the important parts.

          August 14, 2021 at 7:05 PM
          • Guilford Australis GuardianDevil

            CCP did not threaten to sue individuals for libel as Seir falsely claimed. CCP stated that it was consulting with legal resources.

            August 14, 2021 at 8:14 PM
      • Bardghost_Isu GuardianDevil

        Paper book I presume you mean or E-Book ?

        August 14, 2021 at 3:29 PM
        • Gray Doc Bardghost_Isu

          Simply not true. Volume 1 has 212 numbered pages.

          August 14, 2021 at 4:39 PM
        • GuardianDevil Bardghost_Isu

          It’s the hardcover version. I ordered the books with the Kickstarter campaign for the second volume.

          August 14, 2021 at 7:06 PM
      • Gray Doc GuardianDevil

        Why would three people downvote Guardian for taking the time to find the reference in Groen? That itself should give people some pause, right? Do we want the facts here, or not? Or do we want to just slam Seir even when he makes a valid point? Surely the only reason to downvote Guardian, for actually taking the time to find the reference, is that some people hate the information he found. That’s shameful.

        Risking now getting lots of downvotes (about which I care not), I’ll concur with Guardian. This comes from the hardbound Empires of EVE, Volume 1, pp. 171-173. Seir’s summary is very accurate. Because these comments and votes here seem haphazard at best, and possible done with actual malice, I’ll quote at length from the Groen book. For the sake of some brevity, I’ll also summarize some, leaving plenty of room for doubters to say I’ve cherrypicked. Before you do, though, try reading the damn quote yourselves:

        “Shortly after The Mittani began his reign, things went sour. Another scandal struck EVE Online alleging that developers within CCP Games were again aiding Band of Brothers. People alleged that CCP developers within Band of Brothers were abusing their developer abilities to see what other alliances were building inside their private shipyards. These accusations proved to be hyperbolic. The worst that was ever proven was that Band of Brothers members may have been able to get glitches and bugs fixed faster than other alliances because of the connections at CCP.” Groen, Vol 1, p. 171.

        “Not everyone believed the worse allegations were false, though. The Mittani spread the word about the alleged impropriety all over the internet on early social networking sites like Digg and Slashdot. The result was havoc, as the CCP forums were flooded with outsiders and angry rioters, ultimately crashing the EVE Online forums for a brief time.” Groen, Vol 1, p. 171.

        Now, I’ll summarize some for brevity. CCP Games responded to these charges and accusations, with CCP Arkanon writing an official company post, which Groen quotes at length.

        I’ll quote the last part of Arkanon’s post, which is found in Groen, pp. 171-173: “There is no evidence to support the claim of information sent to CCP concerning internal corruption and wrondoings on the part of our employees is being systematically suppressed. The fact that this attack took place over a holiday weekend was especially revealing of motive, which we believe was specifically by design to ensure that CCP would not be able to react as fast and efficiently as we would under normal circumstances. The allegations investigated above by this internal affairs department will also be examined by our legal resources, as we do not intend to sit idly by while our servers, community and reputation are under attack.”

        After quoting that document, Groen goes on: “This reportedly spooked The Mittani. Some say he feared for his career as a Washington D. C. lawyer. He says he simply lost the will to fight this battle just to hold on to a leadership position he never asked for. He stepped down as CEO of Goonswarm and went back to leading its spy network.” Groen, Vol. 1, p. 173.

        So, what Seir said has validity based on this past incident. That doesn’t make it fact. It means it’s a valid point, one worth considering and not slamming outright.

        So, do you want factual information or not, INN readers? So many of us have said we Goons tell the truth and PAPI folk lie. The truth is that Seir’s presentation in his comment was accurate and that Guardian found the quote, and the exact pages, and then Guardian got DOWNVOTED for finding the facts. How terrible of him, to present truth here, right?

        And Bardghost, I don’t know what version of the book you have, but I’m happy to post photos of these pages, straight from Groen, so you can see the quotes for yourself. DM me on Discord if you want the truth of it. Otherwise, just believe what you will.

        August 14, 2021 at 4:29 PM
        • Romulus Loches Gray Doc

          There appears to be conflicting information about the existence of these pages. I’m not sure if it is an issue about editions or bindings or something else. Intentionally false information should be downvoted. Since that is not the case, I have removed my downvote.

          August 14, 2021 at 4:59 PM
          • Gray Doc Romulus Loches

            Intentionally false information should be downvoted. I have no problem with that. I have a problem with people assuming something is intentionally false information, especially when it’s not. Some people assumed that Guardian was intentionally providing false information, and it’s that assumption that’s troubling. This isn’t just you. I tend to do it myself, Romulus. I see things through “Goon” lenses. But I have to take a step back, sometimes, and dig deeper to challenge my own assumptions. TBH, I kinda assumed Bardghost was spreading disinformation, but at least I allowed for the idea that there was some mistake working here, the possibility of multiple versions of the book. Regarding my initial assumption, I was wrong. Shame on me for thinking Bard would intentionally pass on disinformation.

            August 14, 2021 at 6:27 PM
          • Bardghost_Isu Gray Doc

            Ah its fine, I think the whole thing with the second edition of Volume 1 threw us all for a loop and led to us all pointing fingers of lies.

            Now that its cleared up we can all sit back and understand where and what was being referenced and debate that point instead of the actual existence of it

            August 14, 2021 at 8:03 PM
          • Guilford Australis Gray Doc

            Gray, would that include intentionally false information like Seir’s claim that CCP threatened to sue individuals for “effective libel” (whatever that is) when that was not what CCP said, and the specter of litigation was only Groen’s personal speculation?

            August 14, 2021 at 8:24 PM
          • Good question and worth a response. No, it would NOT include Seir’s claim. Seir, I’m pretty sure, was referencing this bit from memory. I have inside info on that, since I’m his dad, and I know he’s on a road trip driving across the American desert. So, Seir’s memory was faulty on the word “libel,” which does not appear in Groen. However, taken in full context, what else could CCP Arkanon’s post have implied? The Arkanon’s post didn’t use the word “libel,” but it implies a threat of some legal action and for some reader to conjure up the idea that the only legal action here might be slander or libel is completely fair. I’m not a lawyer, nor do a play one here. But IMO it’s a fair and justifiable assumption. So, Seir should NOT have used that exact term, but he’s not freewheeling misinformation either. But to quibble over the term “libel” is to ignore the point in favor of the quibble. Regarding your question regarding Groen and the “personal speculation,” Groen carefully words this stuff. Very carefully. Groen says, “Some say he [The Mittani] feared for his career as a Washington D. C. lawyer.” I will grant Groen the assumption, on my part, that his phrase “some say” means he either gathered this information via interviews or through the reading of primary documents. Next, Groen says, “He [The Mittani] says he simply lost the will to fight this battle just to hold on to a leadership position he never asked for.” Again, I assume Groen either got this directly from an interview with The Mittani, or through primary sources; hence the “He says.” So no, I don’t cast this story as something from Groen’s personal speculation. He, Groen, clearly implies he has sources. He’s using attributions.

            August 14, 2021 at 9:16 PM
        • Guilford Australis Gray Doc

          The pages in the original softcover version do not match the hardcover rerelease, but I found no evidence that Seir’s characterization of this incident as precipitating libel lawsuits is “accurate.” CCP’s announcement (assuming I’m looking at the same section as you) simply said they were consulting with legal resources. It was Groen’s speculation that this “spooked” The Mittani because it might have involved litigation. CCP never “threatened to sue some people for effective libel of the company” as Seir falsely stated.

          If I’m missing something in the text, I’d be happy to take another look.

          August 14, 2021 at 8:09 PM
          • See my comment above where I respond to your point.

            August 14, 2021 at 9:19 PM
          • Guilford Australis Gray Doc

            Thanks, Gray. I appreciate your responses.

            August 14, 2021 at 9:21 PM
      • Havish Montak GuardianDevil

        Take my upvote for finding the page.

        August 14, 2021 at 4:57 PM
        • Elithiel en Gravonere Havish Montak

          Take my upvote for upvoting! 🙂

          August 16, 2021 at 7:20 AM
    • Gray Doc Seir Luciel

      Well, Putin, but I suppose you are looking for an EVE analog.

      August 14, 2021 at 3:37 PM
    • Bardghost_Isu Seir Luciel

      Maybe do some research and cite your sources next time…

      I’ve read both copies of EoE inside out multiple times over the last year during lockdown, I can find no such comments existing within those books that you refer to.

      August 14, 2021 at 3:40 PM
    • J Moravia Seir Luciel

      I’m not sure I would count “an organization did something once over the span of fifteen years” as precedent and certainly not as “a history of” that activity, and I strongly doubt that most people who fell for the Redditswarm meme even know about the event you’re describing. I think they were simply eager to believe it out of bad faith and prejudice against the Imperium.

      August 14, 2021 at 8:51 PM
      • Seir Luciel J Moravia

        Sowing doubt. Casting suspicion on motives. Looks like you read my piece more thoroughly than I thought. 🙂

        August 14, 2021 at 9:06 PM
        • J Moravia Seir Luciel

          I always read your articles thoroughly. Even when I disagree, which we both know is often, I enjoy the read.

          August 14, 2021 at 9:15 PM
          • Seir Luciel J Moravia

            But in answer, I disagree. As is shown over and over again, EVE is a game of long memories. Very long. EVE players on the whole tend to be well connected to their history.

            Furthermore, even though this was a while ago it was the same leader as today, one who started in intelligence. One supports sites like this one with isk payment. And an organization that didn’t get its reputation and status from a single instance in the past, but a storied past with many instances of genius, strategic brilliance, toxicity, plots, spycraft, pride, shame. All of it. Good and bad.

            My point is at this point the idea of a redditswarm wouldn’t be that far fetched. In truth I’m still not certain its not real. The “meme” cover would be brilliant; hiding in plain sight. *shrug* Wouldn’t put it past yall/eve. Crazier things have happened.

            August 14, 2021 at 9:21 PM
          • J Moravia Seir Luciel

            I just find it more than a little ironic that your most recent article contains the following questions:

            I tend to fact check and research the EVE narratives I encounter and believe in. (1 all the time — 5 I never do)
            The narrative I believe now happens to be the first one I heard regarding the issue (1 don’t agree — 5 agree)

            And here you are deliberately ignoring proof, in the form of screen shots, in order to hold on to an opinion you had before seeing the proof. You have encountered facts and insisted that you’re “still not certain.”

            I’m not saying the skepticism is unwarranted, but you’ll probably want to consider if you’re running afoul of your own bias test, whether your opinions are based on facts and evidence or whether you’re doing logical gymnastics as you attempt to defend opinions you originally made for emotional and not logical reasons.

            August 14, 2021 at 10:09 PM
          • Seir Luciel J Moravia

            Your bias point is fair, as I’m as susceptible to bias as anyone.

            My turn: I find it a little ironic that I’m accused of being dishonest and “truthy” here on INN while The Imperium proudly admits to the same with deceptions (or not?) like redditswarm.

            How is what I’m accused of doing — being fast and loose with the truth for propaganda purposes — different/worse from what The Imperium openly admits to?

            August 14, 2021 at 11:51 PM
          • J Moravia Seir Luciel

            As far as I’m concerned, it’s really not different or worse, only less popular in this particular context.

            The real question is, do YOU believe it’s different? Do you pass judgment on the Imperium for such things while doing it yourself?

            I don’t necessarily need an answer, but it’s worth thinking about.

            August 14, 2021 at 11:57 PM
          • Seir Luciel J Moravia

            I’ve been accused of it, but I don’t accept the accusation.

            Look: I’m into rhetoric, I teach it after all. I’m no master or anything, but I take what I learn and apply it here. Persuasion is an art and a skill.

            However I don’t personally think its ethical or even necessary to resort to deception and lying, saying something or leading someone into something you know not to be true. I’ve done my share of spinning, chose to emphasize certain facts, and try to be as persuasive as I can for my point of view. Sometimes I do better than other times. Sometimes I have more to work with, sometimes less.

            But I have never lied. I have never deliberately told an untruth or used deception to lead people into an untruth. Call me a spin master all you want; its not true every day, but yeah some days it is. But I’m not a liar. It’s just not my style nor is it how I want to employ my particular brand of rhetoric.

            August 15, 2021 at 1:51 AM
          • J Moravia Seir Luciel

            I personally believe that you’ve engaged in good faith. I wouldn’t go on record saying that you’ve lied or that you’ve said things you know to be untrue.

            However, you’ve said things that *are* untrue because of who you’ve chosen to believe throughout this war. You’ve continued to raise ethical questions about the Imperium even as it has been repeatedly brought to your attention that PAPI leaders have deliberately and knowingly lied to their line members. Even as Arrendis and others have demonstrated that PAPI leaders have a history (built up over more than a decade) of telling outright lies, you’ve continued to believe those leaders – while attempting to crucify Goonswarm for a disinformation campaign they carried out a decade ago.

            If there is any reason to be skeptical of Goonswarm, there is far more reason to be skeptical of Vily, PGL, Manfred Sidious, Noraus, and Gobbins. As you say, EVE players know their history. But you seem to be eagerly willing to ignore the history of the people you consider yours, while happily clinging to the history of the people you’ve decided to hate.

            August 15, 2021 at 2:45 AM
          • Seir Luciel J Moravia

            I don’t hate goonswarm/The Imperium, nor am I trying to crucify anyone for things that happened a while ago. I think you’re reading more vitriol into my comments than I am intending.

            I respect Goonswarm for their power and abilities and have a lot of good to say about them. But I also have an outsider’s perspective. I see things differently and remember things differently. That’s not unnatural, that’s to be expected.

            Moreover, when INN starts going universally far in one direction, I feel someone ought to go the other direction, speak for the other side, and give readers some sense of a spectrum. As far as I can tell no one here is really doing that. I didn’t mention the aforementioned piece of history to bash goons, but because its frankly relevant and provides context on the redditswarm issue. It may not be what Goons want to here/remember but it makes people who got angry at the redditswarm myth/conspiracy a little more sympathetic vs the duped idiots INN wants to paint them as.

            August 15, 2021 at 12:54 PM
          • Moomin Amatin Seir Luciel

            Redditswarm was created in the minds of PAPI leadership. It was a mechanism to explain why the PAPI message was no longer in the fore in places such as Reddit. The Imperium line members just laughed at the notion and then went “yeah, redditswarm is a thing” as it was simply too funny. I mean who could resist watching an extermination force throw itself into a fit of rage over a thing it created that did not exist?

            As for your honesty. I hate to break it to you but when you dodge questions you are being dishonest.

            August 15, 2021 at 6:50 AM
          • Malcanis Seir Luciel

            Why should one party being ‘truthy’ preclude another?

            And you absolutely do not fact-check and you absolutely do ignore history, as I have detailed at exhaustive length.

            August 18, 2021 at 8:12 PM
    • Arrendis Seir Luciel

      >Moreover its not actually a bad idea; people get paid working for INN, so why not? What’s one more internet sphere?

      Well, for one thing, it’d be against the TOS. People get paid in ISK to do stuff for INN because CCP’s indicated that not only is that allowed, but that’s what they want EVE news sites to do, because paying RL cash for EVE-related content is too close to RMT.

      Posting to /r/eve… not the same thing. Not the same thing at all. What’s one more internet sphere? A violation of both reddit and EVE’s TOS.

      But yes, people were primed to believe the worst about Goonswarm, because for more than a decade, they’ve been spoon-fed that narrative: “always assume the worst about Goonswarm.”

      August 15, 2021 at 10:14 PM
      • Seir Luciel Arrendis

        I meant in isk, not real cash. Sorry that wasn’t clear.

        August 16, 2021 at 2:10 PM
        • Arrendis Seir Luciel

          Right, but posting to a third-party site, not the website doing the payment, would probably violate CCP’s ‘what you can pay ISK for’ guidelines. And taking payment of any sort for posting would effectively be a kind of brigading.

          August 19, 2021 at 9:39 PM
    • Elithiel en Gravonere Seir Luciel

      One thing I noticed early on, was that TEST had some kind of redditors sig whose job specifically was to churn out a misinformation campaign and downvote the other side. In response I reported back to our side that we needed to fight back on reddit. It seems that idea eventually got picked up by the Ministry of Truth (?) or some folks and no doubt, since then, the balance has been reddit being almost dominated by Goonswarm’s people.

      But make no mistake, it was because the few of us there were being absolutely hammered by a concerted effort by TEST’s information campaign to drown us out. We did electronic counter counter measures to wipe their noise out. Was it part of the Ministry of Truth’s official information campaign? Who can say for sure. What goes on in there, stays in there. But I know that if Goons didn’t fight back on Reddit, we’d be fighting a losing propaganda war. I think there was a community response when we reported that we were getting slammed by TEST’s official propaganda sig in that space.

      As for other leaders, sure there was a few in Eve who became famous. Vile Rat being one of them. Goons have always had the best intelligence agencies in Eve. But the ministry of truth is entirely a different agency from the intelligence ones and I think Seir, you confuse them all into one big conglomerate.

      August 16, 2021 at 7:33 AM
      • Seir Luciel Elithiel en Gravonere

        Sounds exactly like my last article. Goons were following the steps better than the other side.

        August 16, 2021 at 2:09 PM
        • Elithiel en Gravonere Seir Luciel

          Yes, but the point between the lines is that they didn’t need to do that. Neither side did that in the Casino war. We all gave and took it in our stride and the idea of downvoting the other side, was only used if someone was being a complete d*ck. It was a lot rarer back then to see that sort of behaviour.

          When TEST used the downvote button as a way of censoring the usual commentators, they broke with tradition and got dirty. Then they wonder why they got hammered when we decided to no longer play nice and do the same back. But we all know what sort of people are in TEST.

          August 17, 2021 at 5:15 AM
        • J Moravia Seir Luciel

          As I mentioned in a comment on that article, I think you’re making a category error. Goons weren’t following any kind of steps; they weren’t engaged in the act of creating a narrative. It’s a culture thing: they were shitposting because goons shitpost. Check the Something Awful forums, especially the EVE thread, and you’ll see mind-blowing amounts of shitposting. Intelligent and witty shitposting, just like the stuff that ended up on Reddit – but it comes from who goons are as a people, not from any attempt to influence or manipulate people.

          You give elementary school students an open field and they run around it. You give goons a message board and they shitpost. That’s just what happens.

          You keep trying to stuff all of this into rhetorical categories that you know and have experience with, but it’s not any of that; it’s the group’s culture.

          August 17, 2021 at 7:31 PM
  • Gray Doc

    Always nice to get a mention, Froggy. So, thanks for that. Do note that Seir recanted his position blaming the line members, I think in a comment either to his own story or my rebuttal. That recanting should be part of the record, including in your story. While Seir’s article doesn’t even come close to “wizard hat,” we Goons do remember that The Mittani apologized profusely for that incident and we call out people who keep bringing up Wizard Hat as if no apology ever took place. So, we should remember and note when people correct themselves.

    August 14, 2021 at 3:44 PM
    • Froggy Storm Gray Doc

      I did not see the retraction. I’ll have to go find it.

      I mostly was trying to suggest that both sides of the debate ultimately come to agreement. It was the butts in chairs that made the difference. Be it a result of the leader’s actions or the results of individual motivation.

      August 14, 2021 at 6:04 PM
      • Gray Doc Froggy Storm

        On that, we are in complete agreement.

        August 14, 2021 at 6:19 PM
  • Havish Montak

    I got my Redditswarm payout. Are you doing your part?

    August 14, 2021 at 4:54 PM