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So, here’s kind of an unusual COTW. But it’s kinda fun and potentially interesting, so here goes.

But I’m going to have to start with a definition or two. On the Internet, a “troll” is a noun, recognized as someone on a website forum who brings up deliberately contentious or provocative opinions trying to disrupt conversation for his own amusement. In traditional English uninfluenced by Scandanavian folklore, the word is a verb and means to trail a large piece of bait on a line behind a moving boat hoping to catch a big fish. In EVE Online culture, these two definitions have merged. To “troll someone” means to concoct a lie and attempt to plant it on your victim, hoping he’ll take it as the truth. If the lie is believed, the more outlandish it is, the more successful the troll is.

These days, trolling only works in one direction. The perpetrator is always Goonswarm and the target is nearly always EVE News 24. The purpose is to hopefully disrupt and discredit EN24 to the presumed benefit of the Goonswarm-sponsored competing news site, themittani.com.(1)

Prior to the CFC announcement of 0-W hell-camp on the 15th, EN24 published a couple of text items that they claimed were leaks coming out of CFC forum threads. Anyone who thinks of GSF or the CFC as a monolithic organization with no leaks is wrong. Things do slip out from time to time. Of the two, the second was a fairly bland position post written as if intending to address long-standing complaints about the CFC, most importantly that they intended to “take over the galaxy” or “ruin EVE Online.” I found it an interesting piece of writing and wrote my own piece commenting on it.

At the top of that piece, I made it clear that I didn’t know who wrote the position post, implied I didn’t much care who wrote it, but that I found it interesting and I wanted to address the talking points. In the process, I made a few unrelated predictions about where I think the rest of winter and spring 2014 are going in terms of large bloc null-sec politics. It was a fun piece but not really intended to be contentious.

But the comments thread turned into a river of flame anyway, and so did Twitter and so did Reddit. Both The Mittani and Powers contacted me, said that bit of text had been a troll aimed at EN24, I had fallen for it, and I should do… something about it. What I should do, they weren’t quite clear about. I have to admit that this confused me. Remember, a troll is a lie that you want someone to believe is the truth. But I had looked through the bit of text and it was made up of talking points — more or less true ones! — that Goons have been using for a while:

  • Goons don’t intend to “ruin the game.” They’ve been saying this all the way back to Darius JOHNSON.
  • Goons “don’t control half the galaxy.” This has been a Goon talking point for ages.
  • The eastern half of the galaxy is bigger than the west. Also a long-standing Goon talking point, as I said in my piece, this is a bit misleading but it’s essentially true.
  • PL/N3 control a lot of these systems. While I am not so sure “PL/N3″ exists just now, the sentiment itself is more or less true, at least for a couple more weeks.
  • A disparity of renter income is bad for Goons. This is indisputably true.
  • Goons are wrecking N3 renter space so that the southern Russians can move in. Whether this is the intent or not, it’s likely to be true enough… nature, vacuums, and all that.
  • And then that statement about three power blocs in the game making the game more interesting and more fun. OK, maybe this part could be a lie.

Anyway, when I was informed of supposedly successful troll, I (quite reasonably, I thought) asked Mittens and Powers straight out: “OK, which part is a lie?” I got no answer. Instead, they both responded — well, insisted is a better word — that it was a troll and I should admit to being trolled. I said again, “Which part is a lie?” They got exasperated. Figuring I was on the right track, I asked a third time. This went on back and forth for a goodly long time on Twitter. There’s something about Goons I’ve noticed over the last three years writing this blog: when someone does something stupid, Goons point, they laugh, and then they move on to the next stupid thing. They don’t stick to any given stupidity for long.

I seemed to have inadvertently stumbled onto something The Mittani hated just as much as having his real name bandied about the Internet without his permission: someone not accepting his narrative once he’s declared what it is.

So I went back to the original text looking for the lie. Instead, I found this:

PL/N3 currently own MORE systems than the CFC and our Russian temporary allies in the south COMBINED. Obviously that disparity in income is bad for us (most of the sov is renter space, unlike CFC sov).

And I realized I’d skipped over a word that seemed unimportant at the time: that word “temporary”… “our Russian temporary allies.”

Now anyone who knows anything about null-sec politics knows that this particular group of Russians has never had a lot of love for Goons, and somewhat vice versa. As I said in the original post, I fully expect there to be wars and border clashes and such once the Halloween War wraps up. The thing the CFC has on its side is Russians dislike each other way more than they dislike Goons. They’re pretty likely to go after each other with Goons cheering ‘em on from the sidelines. But I found this flat declaration that the Russian allies are “temporary” kinda charming.

So! Trolls are lies you foist on enemies hoping they’ll take them as truth. All that said, what’s more likely:

  1. That this statement is a successful troll perpetrated on EN24, despite being essentially true (if occasionally misleading) from start to finish?
  2. Or that a well-meaning mid-level type in the CFC wrote something very slightly embarrassing to the CFC diplomatic corps that he was in no way authorized to write, someone leaked it, and the higher-ups decided it should be discredited?

I know which way Occam’s Razor is leaning for me.

Anyway, just a bit of fun. Back to more serious matters.

- Ripard Teg

If you would like to read more we invite you to visit his blog here.

  • asda

    its ok if they trolled you. The mittanidotcom is down right now anyways

    • robus_muvila

      Back up now. Somebody tried to DDOS us.
      Good thing we know what we’re doing eh?

      • Nazi Prop Machine

        The concentration camp of propaganda opened up again?

    • Groupthink

      Nothing of value was lost…

  • I just do not know

    Nice article and quite funny.

  • Billbo

    Alot of words for saying “i was trolled” o7 gudfight!

    • Just curious

      Maybe it’s time Billbo got his prescription changed as that is not what this article was saying.

      On the other hands obvious Goon is obvious Goon reinforcing what has already been said in the article.

      Begging the question are you a bot or just suffering from an inherent lack of creativity by just towing the party line regardless of what’s said?

      • Ha

        Billbo needs the precious before he can even think about putting his specs on.

    • sadleric

      This is really not at all what the piece is talking about.

  • Kinis Deren

    Hahahaha, I love reading about the grubbies being all butt hurt. Poor Mittens & Powers, throwing a Cartmanesque “respect my authoritah!” hissy fit when an individual or section of EVE doesn’t step into line.

    • Kugu

      Should see Endies hissy fits, every other day proven wrong about something, and he’s out there with the ret of Adolf Mittens brown shirts trying to bullshit his way through with delusional statement after statement.

  • GG

    lol….. Goons trying to control an independent blogger. If it was a troll, it was a pretty bad attempt.

  • Adolf Shittens

    Mittens and Powers as many goontards before them using the Goon 101 meme handbook when being caught out.
    Problem with perpetual liars is because they lie so much & have cfc grunts that soak up all the diarrhoea they spew, sometimes they forget that more intelligent people may ask questions about the lies, and on occasions they forget to have some excuse or some twisted out of context blather that they have to resort to meme.
    Bravo sir, bravo.

    • Justin May

      Screw you for banning me from posting on your site mittens! Got butthurt cause I was making fun of your state if the goonion address….

      • The Fartini

        Wasn’t actually me, one of my brown shirts deleted your comment for it being far too truthful inface of the turd I was dishing out to my ever subdued hoarde. Couldn’t have them questioning my twisted lies now could I!

  • The Miittani

    Hurr durr, you got trolled Ripard, I didn’t answer your questions because, errrrr, Urrrm (I was counting how much rmt I made this month) nooo errr that wasn’t it, it was because I’m Fuehrer Mittens and I don’t have to explain my lies, erm I mean truth to anybody, now get in a bomber and grind me more rental income.

    Kind Regards,

    Mittsey xox

  • Markus

    This blog post makes me wonder how many CFC bloggers get influence by their leadership if these guys actually think Ripard would reverse his position. Clearly bloggers are not aloud to have their own point of view, even if they are not apart of the CFC. If it is a troll(which I don’t really think it is), then chalk that up to “bound to happen” when you have a bunch of retards trying to troll the community.

  • DarkLite

    “Both The Mittani and Powers contacted me, said that bit of text had been a troll aimed at EN24, I had fallen for it, and I should do… something about it.”

    Imagine that someone fabricated an ‘alliance mail’ that contained things the CFC had said before. The mail itself is entirely fictional,but is then posted on a news site as ‘news’. What’s the problem here?

    The problem isn’t ‘the stuff in the message isn’t true’. The problem is that the message itself isn’t real. Sure, the things in the message are things people have said before, but that doesn’t make it newsworthy to post a bunch of made-up statements to the same effect.

    If you want to discuss those claims, I don’t think anyone has a problem with that. You can just quote the original claims and write a story on that. But a story about a fictional ‘alliance mail’ is not news by any stretch of the word.

    Otherwise, why even bother having people submit intel? Why not just make up quotes from Mittani or Grath or CCP that fit with their points of view? Because, surprisingly enough, people want to read what’s actually being said, not what’s previously been said or what people think has previously been said.

    • Sair

      If Mittani says the message itself isn’t real then it must be true, because you know, he has has an alt in every corp in the CFC.

    • >.<

      Maybe, but his original article wasn’t a report on what was said, it was an OP illustrating how certain half-truths are used to twist the narrative. In that sence it didn’t, and doesn’t, matter if the EN24 article was made up or not, so long as the topics in it are or have been expressed previously in-game. And they have been. No one reading Jesters piece gives a shit if this stuff was or was not recently posted on the GSF forums since it’s irrelevant to the piece.

      But whatever, flame on fag…

  • ffs you suck

    So it is true that you and en24 can’t fact check and post any shit passed your way. Thanks for confirming you suck at reporting and get butt hurt about it when called out on it.

  • sadleric

    “Remember, a troll is a lie that you want someone to believe is the truth.”

    Isn’t that just a lie?

  • Herf Zone

    Even if troll, more likely Goon damage control, Mittens and Powers look daft regardless.

    • Johnno

      +1

  • Subhuman

    In other words, Mittens is a huge piece of shit who makes Kim un look like a free spirited leader. Yeah right .. Oh it was a troll … Damage control T20 activated!!!!

  • Dirk MacGirk

    Even by your own definition, a troll isn’t a lie. It is a contentious comment designed to derail a topic. Perhaps you got trolled twice now?

    • Noisrevbus

      I can only refer to what I wrote on TMC. Mittens took the time to tell me the same thing there and my response was quite simply that just because you consider some content, however ficticious, more interesting to discuss: you didn’t necessarily believe whatever ‘facts’ were paraded and bought into the troll.

      Take the whole topic of “popular science” and you might see a glimmer of my point.

      After all, the “big surprise” of the SotG wasn’t very surprising or interesting and was rooted in a fair bit of ficticious roleplay itself. It was fun to read or listen to, of course, but there was not many interesting topics of discussion in it for a bystander (unless of course it came as a surprise to you and you are invested in following every turn and development of ongoing politics). I kind of enjoy the political side too, but I’m not very invested in it and I find exactly the same discussion as Ripard did far more interesting.

      Sreegs old “we want to ruin YOUR game, not THE game” comment is one of the more interesting statements in EVE-history and a good basis of extrapolated, elaborated and interesting discussion on the state of the game. The whole “we fooled N3’s second-tier into consolidating assets stupidly” huzzah was more of a reminder of people being stupid with assets (even Grath’s “I need to take care of my guys” post was more interesting on that topic, given their nomadic background and whatever expectations you may have of that) and I shrug stuff like that off quite quickly; 0-W was both expected and uninteresting to me :).

      • Noisrevbus

        Sorry Jester… Jester, Ripard, Mord the Fiddler, whoever, duders with blogs :).

  • DBRB

    We would never double cross an ally, We are the best of friends and the worst of enemies.

    • Johnno

      Troll and you know it

    • Apolo

      Drinking the kool aid.

  • war anyone

    I’m sure Goons have some plan to stage thunder dome style fighting in designated areas. CCP will still get their news making fights. They’ll bring old alliances back to life to form new coalitions who will be stomped during the winter and spring. Maybe they’ll really stick it to us by setting up a renter system similar to the one run by their ancient enemy BOB. Are there renter alliances that rhyme with Horde?

    Maybe they’ll be able to use diplomacy to keep PL at bay until they can beat them.

  • Wolfduke

    The second definition you list is meant for “trawl” you goddamn dumbass. Stopped reading right there.

    • Nicen Jehr

      trawlolololo

    • Methylated Spirit

      Me too. Do some research before you sperg this drivel

      • Quakker

        Lucky he didn’t make any references to Km’s or metres, he’d have you both really fucked.

    • MaraRinn

      troll 1 (trəʊl) —vb: 1. angling : a. to draw (a baited line, etc) through the water, often from a boat : b. to fish (a stretch of water) by trolling

      trawl (trɔːl) —n: 1. Also called: trawl net a large net, usually in the shape of a sock or bag, drawn at deep levels behind special boats (trawlers)

      Troll and trawl are different activities. You can keep reading Jester’s article now.

    • Webster

      +1 for trawling this many-

    • Steven Celestial

      You are an fucking idiot. The 3 people who upvoted this are fucking idiots. You don’t know shit, so stay quiet. Trawl and troll are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WORDS WITH DIFFERENT MEANINGS YOU STUPID CUNT. :D

      • Wolfduke

        You seem mad but thank you for taking the bait, troll or trawl. Well played.

        • Steven Celestial

          heres your bait, with the hook still in it, shoved up your asshole :D xox

          • that guy

            You sound gay

          • Steven Celestial

            Gays run the world buddy, get with the program.

        • Quakker

          Was wrong
          Looked like a fool
          Was troll

      • I swear I am not Luwc

        Upvoted him just to make you mad some more :)

        • Steven Celestial

          I’m never mad, I enjoy abusing people. :D Thanks for your time.

  • ><a1N

    Trolls are the number one PVPers in and out of the game.
    Can we get a top ten list of trolls please?
    It may even be worth hiring some for intimidating your enemies.
    They have been responsible for starting some of the best fights in EVE.

  • hellya

    Good to have you on our side Rip, screw those guys!

  • doh

    Russians paid mittani rl , he joined the war, n3/pl made a withdrawl deal, they are about to loose 3 regions. Part of deal. Once 3 regions is settled. Goons did their thing. Weakened n3 and rus will start brawling again. Either goons join as honourable fags, or rus get overrun , in which case payments will be made again to pull goons in. In meantime they titan race, as its clear the next br5 will be a doomsday alpha game, null needs to be divided in 3 major blocks, and goons play em, divide and let live, instead conquer, never growing too strong. Last thing u want is n3 and rus to align. Troll? ….

    • Bah

      Best thing that could happen to eve if N3/Rus aligned in the first place and put the far overdue evolution of CFCs death to sword. Alas that didn’t happen…

      • I swear I am not Luwc

        Dream On.

  • WhatWouldJesusDu

    “trolling only works in one direction. The perpetrator is always Goonswarm and the target is nearly always EVE News 24.”

    No one else ever gets trolled, only non-goons. GRRR GOOONS!!!

  • Sold

    Oh, you noticed it, too? lol on the russians. I wonder who’s next?

  • Union

    Goons ruin every game that they touch. Anyone play modded Minecraft lately? Within two years they created a drooling, idiotic fanbase that believes anything from their modpack forums, and bullies mod authors into letting them use their content (possibly for their profit). Damn shame that these neck beards only have strength when they have a keyboard in their hands…

    • I swear I am not Luwc

      You sound stupid.

  • I swear I am not Luwc

    TL’DR . where is the comment. I thought this is something like Mittens ALOD :///
    I can’t find the funzies. Only the butthurtzies