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Seraph IX Basarab: The Mittani’s Love/Hate Relationship with reddit

January 21, 2016

By Seraph IX Basarab

I’ve made part of my Eve “career” off of being a critic. I hate ratting, I’ve never done it and I prefer to write to make my ISK. I enjoy looking at different groups or individuals within Eve and writing commentary on what I observe. Naturally when looking at the different groups in Eve, especially 0.0 it’s hard not to write criticism and commentary regarding Goonswarm and the CFC (or Imperium as they have named themselves more recently.) They’re the largest alliance, heading up the largest coalition in Eve. In no short term they are the hegemon in Eve online as far as 0.0 is concerned. The Mittani therefore is arguably the most powerful single individual within Eve. As a critic, I have pointed out both the good and bad in this organization. Their logistical capabilities are rivaled by few, their organization and capability of summoning numbers by even fewer. However, I would have to be blind not to notice their shortcomings as well, as I have done in the past. Although they’ll always say that I’m “anti-Goon,” anyone that has objectively looked at my work will see that I’m also highly critical of other alliances and coalitions within Eve. I wrote scathing remarks regarding Vince Draken’s handling of the Tribute War. I’ve criticized PL at times for certain choices they’ve made and actions they’ve taken. Yet neither of these two groups have ever had members come up to me and say “Seraph you are anti-so and so.” Only Goonswarm and other CFC entities do this, and that is because they more than anyone pay attention to the role of narrative/propaganda in the game.

Goonswarm, as the largest alliance, heads up the largest coalition in Eve as stated above. Along with that they’ve made extensive moves and attempts to maintain the attention and interest of their line members. If anyone remembers TMC’s old blurb about their raison de’tre, it even clearly stated that they wanted to provide a media site that was not anti-Goon and could do away with EN24. Although throughout its existence I’ve always written that TMC will always be a GSF entity due to who is in control of the site and how it had always been designed as a tool of the CFC in mind, it is only recently that Mittens has more or less abandoned all pretenses of impartiality and simply denoted the site’s role as pro-Goon media. Points for honesty.

Ok great, so what’s your point Seraph? Yeah, Mittens and Goons care about narrative. They’ve always tried to control it. What’s your point?

Nothing I’ve stated so far is really new or groundbreaking. However, we are witnessing the continued meltdown of Mittens and his peers when they are not in control of the narrative. This started with Mitten’s push for a kickstarter for a book detailing the war in Fountain when the CFC invaded TEST Alliance territory. The high price tag coupled with some rather questionable excerpts by the author as well as less than clear picture as to what/where the money was going to caused a community backlash akin to the 2011 summer of rage. Instead of handling the Eve community’s reaction in a tactful and skillfully diplomatic way, the coalition’s head diplomat, Sion Kumitomo, went on a tirade about how the Eve subreddit is not a real community.

For older players, this ironically harkens back to Band of Brother’s “there are no goons” meme which ultimately proved untrue and was recited again and again in a mocking manner after the Goons eventually outlived their nemesis. Further estrangement between the CFC and the reddit community occurred during Mitten’s invasion of Cloud Ring speech. Nobody actually cared that the invasion was happening, but the cringy speech caused many to mock him on reddit. It didn’t help that Gobbins of Pandemic Horde wrote an extensive thread detailing just exactly how he trolled Mittens into essentially coming to an empty region to do nothing. Mittens then called for a war against Lowsec entities promising to “burn their shit down.” The vast majority of battle victories have gone to the nominal lowsec coalition mainly composed of Psychotic Tendencies, Snuffbox and Omega Security Services. Although the CFC has managed to destroy many of Snuffbox’s towers, nobody expect them to be able to hold them. One would hope that even Mittens and what remains of his leadership would realize this. Allegedly they’ve contacted Shadow Cartel leadership offering them the moons.

Currently the CFC is entangled in a lowsec war with no clear objective, losing far more than winning while their biggest ally, SMA, currently embroiled in a dispute with IWantIsk, is being hunted relentlessly in Fade by Psychotic Tendencies Black Ops fleets. Recently SMA has suffered over 100 bil isk in damages and has at least partially evacuated their VNX-P0 constellation in western Fade, where according to SMA executor River, “half of the alliance” was housed and which was an key industrial area for alliance production.

The past few months has seen a variety of talent leave CFC including FCs such as Vily and the head of GSF intelligence, Endie. Blawrf’s departure was also notable and set off a series of reddit threads where many of the departures were attributed to reasons such ‘talent has left the coalition.’ They generally range from the way TMC and the KS has been handled, to how Mittens deals with dissenting opinion among the leadership. It would seem that Sion has been more keen to agree than those who left/were pushed out. From speaking with some of the different ex-GSF, Mittens has been increasingly cracking down on differing opinions.

Considering these factors, it is quite ironic to hear Mitten’s complaints regarding reddit. The following is the log posted on reddit regarding Mitten’s recent contribution to the discussion on slack. Here he argues that r/eve moderation does not provide a safe space for his and his peer’s posts.

Essentially what has been happening is that Mitten and CFC’s leadership actions were mocked and derided on reddit for their cringe factor. For this, Mittens and Sion rallied their members against reddit with their TMC propaganda saying that Eve reddit is “not an actual community.” This in turn has caused the subreddit to retaliate with their own hostility against CFC membership for pushing their narrative. So Mittens is mad that reddit is not a platform over which he has control and is now throwing another tantrum.

[14:11:11] <themittani> My point is this: subreddits become increasingly toxic when poorly moderated because dissent is ever more rare, so when dissent occurs it creates an ever-more-extreme reaction, eventually leading to a cycle of accusations, hate mobs and actual doxxing.

I find this ironic considering Mittens and the CFC have been known to call for mass up/down votes on reddit in the past when it suited his needs, after which mentions and links to his media site were banned for some time. The obvious hypocrisy is that it’s not so much that Mittens is concerned with free expression and airing of differing opinions, it’s that he wants his voice to be heard regardless of whether or not the vast majority of the people are tired of hearing it or simply uninterested. The sense of entitlement expressed and the tantrum reaction that followed when such attention is not given only further irks the community and widens the gap.

A guy like Mittens can’t exactly criticize any community for being “toxic.” GSF community was essentially created and crystallized out of vilifying non Goon/coalition members as “pubbies.” Mittens himself attended Eve’s 2012 Fanfest as a CSM delegate and the Chairman of CSM7 and ridicule another Eve player’s real life misfortune by laughing about his divorce and encouraging players to harass him to drive him to suicide. Reddit is one of the areas where a history of such interaction with the community has caused alienation for Mittens and his alliance/coalition. After his reprehensible behavior at Fanfest, he was forced to resign as CSM delegate and chairman. You reap what you sow.

Despite these events, he seems completely incapable of comprehending this. Instead he opts for the “if x happens to us it’s bad for everyone!” He used the same fallacy when rallying his troops up for Cloud Ring stating that some shadowy spooky coalition was forming to destroy his coalition and thus Eve as a whole. And now not doing something about the community ridiculing him and his coalition on reddit will lead to “ever-more-extreme reaction eventually leading to hate mobs and actual doxxing.” Hmm…will it tho?

Geez, I’m literally cringing just re-reading that.

Below are some logs of <themittani> from the #Tweetfleet Slack on 18/01/2016, followed by my commentary.

[quote][14:11:46] <themittani> fuck r/eve, you can have it and enjoy it[/quote]
I always have to smirk a little when I see this sort of cognitive dissonance. So Mittens doesn’t ACTUALLY care about r/eve but he’ll rant for pages and pages about it in chats, on slack, wherever he can. But yeah…fuck r/eve. Didn’t want x anyway.

[quote][14:14:28] <themittani> this is part of data gathering on the reaction of those who identify so strongly with that mob and how they hold up when confronted with, say, me.[/quote]

So this is part of data gathering. Seriously what? Did you just go full Mandark? Does Gevlon have a new statistics buddy?

[quote][14:15:20] <themittani> @naclac: my theory is that those who passively join mobs and wewlad/nicememe have over time lost the ability to cope with being called out or held to account in a way that cannot be brigaded or ‘damage controled’ away[/quote]

My theory is that Mittens doesn’t have the ability to cope with there being an Eve platform where he doesn’t have control of the narrative by mass CTAing people to repeat whatever koolaid he’s pushing on them.

[quote][14:16:13] <themittani> the point is that there is an expectation in @gorskicar’s little playground that you can go after my people without being called out, identified, and confronted – now, does that matter? perhaps everyone holds up just fine under pressure and sunlight
[14:17:09] <themittani> when the r/eve cliques and @gorskicar as head mod decide to go after my people, do they behave differently knowing that after the torches and pitchforks have been put down, they will be confronted about their behavior in a place where they cannot downvote the confrontation away?[/quote]

If you want to say Gorski is a shitty moderator…fine, that’s an arguable point. Gorski has a few of the people in my own alliance banned or limited in some manner on reddit as well. Any time I put up a thread I have to ask Gorski to let it pass. The reasoning seems very arbitrary and unregulated. But going from there to some argument that Gorski is leading some anti-Goon reddit coalition is idiotic. You have to be pretty self-centered to think that it’s always about you.

[quote][14:18:05] <themittani> r/eve isn’t always hostile to the imperium, this is about individual accountability for mob behavior rather than a simple ‘grr gons want votes’ as we don’t give a fuck about a platform run by our bitter enemies[/quote]

Yeah when good posts are made and relevant information is shared r/eve isn’t hostile to the “imperium” or anyone really. Problem is, 9 times out of 10 the CFC do their best to alienate non-CFC members of Eve and now Mittens is crying about how they are “toxic.” Honestly, why is this so difficult for you guys to even see? It’s obvious to everyone else but you and that’s the actually kind of sad.

[quote][14:20:32] <themittani> you can try to fall back on spewing squid ink @gorskicar, i’m sure someone will find you to be sticking it to the man and say i’m salty![/quote]

Gorski may not be all that popular, but I think Mitten’s whining and tears have probably won Gorski more friends at this point. Once again, and I can’t say this enough, when you create a community based around negativity and alienating everyone who is not part of said community, you end up with issues like this. I don’t want to say that public relations for GSF is a lost cause but between Mitten’s little spergy cringy tirades like this and Sion’s…ahem…”diplomacy” I think they would do better doing what you do best: pouring koolaid for their coalition members. They burned pretty much every non-CFC bridge there is; they don’t really have anything left.

Also, yeah Mittens…you’re pretty salty. Good luck with that and your “data gathering.” Maybe you’ll eventually be able to figure out why this is happening.