It was 4/4/09, the href="">prophesied
day of reckoning for Goonswarm. After weeks of stalemate, the
led by Against All Authorities (-A-) to restore KenZoku (RKZ) to the
status of
a spaceholding alliance was finally bearing fruit; sovereignty of the
system flipped from Swarm control to KenZoku. After months of strained
during the fall of RKZ's home regions, Delve and Querious, SirMolle,
leader of
KenZoku (nee Band of Brothers Reloaded, nee Band of Brothers), went to
the EVE
forums launch a salvo in an oft-scorned yet strategically vital area of
alliance combat: the propaganda war.

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"Silence!" he demanded, and proceeded to href="">berate
his enemies . "2 months has passed. 2 months since
apparant (sic) flaws in a gamemechanic no one knew existed got abused,
and we
lost our name, all our sov, and the mad rush for Delve began... No sov
no POS-spam, no strontmanaging, no blobs can stop us. We are after your
We *will* kill you." Stirring stuff for the intended audience, his own
troops; with the membership of KenZoku href="">steadily
since losing all their territory, this new thread and the chestbeating
it could rally his pilots and pave the way for future conquest.
Whenever a forum offensive is launched, it is usually announced to the
membership of the alliance, who are then inspired to href="" target="_blank">join
target="_blank">the href="" target="_blank">bandwagon
target="_blank">and href="" target="_blank">drum
target="_blank">up href=""

But then, something went href=""
Less than three hours after SirMolle posted his thread, a spy in RKZ
helped set
up a 'hotdrop' on the KenZoku capital fleet as it was engaging a tower
in the
9CG system. Nearly one hundred capital ships cynojumped on top of the
dreadnoughts and proceeded to href="">exterminate
them, destroying 47 and forcing SirMolle himself (who was
leading the RKZ
group at the time) to order his remaining pilots to log out of the game
hope that their ships were not destroyed in time - a serious no-no, in
circles. The loss easily amounted to more than two dead Titans in isk
alone, and the military impact was dramatic, but the propaganda
backlash was
even more catastrophic. What had once been a showcase for their recent
became a 15+ page public relations disaster, instantly linked around
the game as
an example of out of control hubris, spawning href="">parody
threads and flatlining KenZoku morale. A thread which had
once been a flag to
rally around had become an icon of humiliation, within a matter of
Kenzoku pilots went from morale-boosting chestbeating to complete
silence -
never a good sign in a propaganda war.

Ultimately, EVE is a voluntary pastime
which has its tedious bits,
in the realm of alliance warfare. In a galaxy full of would-be Space
following e-bushido, reputation and 'face' are themselves resources
that can be
built up or destroyed. In any given war, a significant amount of
attention must
be paid to what keeps your pilots motivated and logging into the game,
ships for your alliance's banner, and maintaining a positive cultural
so that defectors and spies are not bred. Morale is key, as the history
of Red

demonstrates; lose enough pilots due to demoralization and your
suffers, and suddenly your alliance is in a full-on failure cascade.
intelligent use and deployment of propaganda is of crucial strategic
importance, no matter how much the e-honor crowd may deny its impact.

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When I got into the spy game, I didn't realize that I would end up
more than half of my time on href="">propaganda
and spin control. There are three broad areas of social engineering
within EVE:
diplomacy, espionage, and propaganda. Like everything involving monkeys
chattering at each other, the lines are blurry; diplomacy and espionage
muddied together constantly, and almost every act of espionage can be
to have some kind of public relations angle. One of the best examples
of this
is the now-infamous ' href="">Yaay
where a KenZoku FC gave a 'pep talk' to their pet alliance RISE; the
'pep talk'
devolved into a rant about how terrible RISE was, and a GIA agent
caught the
whole thing on tape. We published the mp3 of the peptalk and spread it
beyond its initial audience of RISE members, cementing the narrative
that RISE
was an alliance of sycophantic losers willing to take any sort of abuse
KenZoku. Shortly thereafter, RISE failure cascaded, lost all their
space, and
disbanded. Efficient use of propaganda can turn an alliance that merely
out militarily - of which there are hundreds - into an alliance which
is a
galactic laughingstock, a black mark on the employment history of any
unlucky enough to have been a part of it.

As Yaay told RISE, "Don’t worry about the forums,
don’t even read the
forums. All they’re doing is throwing out slander." Whenever
one side
decisively loses control of a propaganda vector, the most common
response is to
try to insulate their membership from hostile ideas. At the most basic
there is the relatively common 'forum ban'; a number of alliances ban
membership from posting on the official forums, and do their level best
discourage even reading them. This almost never works as a propaganda
as people who have been told not to do something begin to see the
activity as more valuable. For example, Goonswarm spent several months
to ban its members from posting on the forums for the strategic purpose
convincing the galaxy that we had been driven fully out of our old
homeland of
Syndicate and nearly destroyed; while the 'Big Lie' was a success, a
legion of
goons took up a habit of alt-posting, and whatever was said on the
forums was of heightened interest due to the ban.

It is also possible to ruin a propaganda
vector to the point that any
messages are lost in the static; years ago, the href="">primary
EVE forum was unequivocally dominated by Band of Brothers
and their allied entities, until Goonswarm ditched the aforementioned
forum ban
and proceeded to deliberately drag the level of discourse down to that
of a flailing,
mentally deficient five-year-old; the entire outlet was delegitimated
and Band
of Brothers lost their dominance amidst a torrent of 'much like your
jokes and z0r chains. In the aftermath, Band of Brothers opted for
common propaganda defense: they began to use an entirely separate
'safe' media
outlet, their own unofficial

moderated by their own members. This is especially common with ethnic
alliances; it's easy to defend your members against propaganda when
they don't
speak English, and so there are isolated propaganda wars on the href="">Russian
, Italian
, Hungarian
(and so
on) EVE

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Propaganda in EVE goes far beyond forum-whoring, though; the copious
number of
graphic designers who play spaceship games in their spare time results
in a
profusion of href=""
target="_blank">impressive  href=""
target="_blank">artwork, such as the RAZOR
Alliance Ministry

Youtube has opened a new vector for both href="">aspiring
and people who just want to make silly videos about href="">singing
be it as a recruitment

or a vehicle for href="">inside
visual propaganda of all kinds makes a substantial impact.
Goonswarm itself has also suffered a number of hilarious public
failures over the years. A textbook example of How Not To Conduct
Warfare comes from our dearly departed CEO, Remedial, where he managed
invigorate an alliance we were on the verge of destroying with one href="">horrifically
awful call-out thread. Rather than having the intended
effect, it
brought public attention to the low-intensity and mostly ignored NORAD
Goonswarm war and united the member corporations of NORAD together
against us;
resistance stiffened substantially, Remedial's thread became a
and the Swarm never managed to kill NORAD. Another dangerous propaganda
came when Remedial was told that a Swarm member had won a lottery in
and bought a Titan with timecards; excited, Remedial proceeded to tell
membership that he had a 'big announcement' to drum up excitement in
the days
leading up to the revelation of the lottery Titan, only to discover
that the
whole thing was a prank and that there was no such Titan. Whoops.

That's the great thing about the all-encompassing nature of war in EVE.
You can
spy on your enemies, you can kill them, you can blow their stuff up
steal it... and then you can use propaganda to ensure they are
remembered only
as a laughingstock

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016