Foreword: This is an informational post in hopes of stemming the leaky faucet-like flow of rubbish posts on World 33.
Propaganda is the fourth most deadly weapon on Tribal Wars, lying somewhere after Axes and somewhere before Catapults (never found them handy). However, unlike the common units in Tribal Wars, Propaganda is a double edged sword. Using it wisely and cautiously will give you the support of the public. And, as mentioned in another post, it is a lot easier to declare and win a war against a tough opponent if the rest of the world is rooting you on, and likewise its a heavy handicap to be fighting an enemy with the support of the public.
First off let's define Propaganda.
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Let's take an example. Two children are fighting on the playground. One of the two punches feebly, and the other immediately points it out. Suddenly the first child is being ridiculed by the mob of children surrounding him. Its a mental attack, a mind game, of being backed into a corner by a mob.
Originally Posted by Dictionary.com
Let's take another example. You neutrally stumble upon a forum thread about a war between two tribes. This thread is by a member of Tribe A, which accuses Tribe B of harboring fugitives and recruiting players that were cleared and being farmed. Tribe A also posts quoted messages between tribe leaders, showing that the leader of Tribe B refuses to comply and uses childish language and insults to justify his actions.
This post has absolutely no rude pictures attached to it with arrows and labels. This post has absolutely no insults or threats. It simply states the situation and gives a public declaration of war. Now, the immediate reaction to this post is that you support Tribe A. The familiarity of the stress from the leader of Tribe A having to deal with the incompetence of Tribe B connects with most players on a basic level, and suddenly Tribe A has the support of the Public.
The Sunny Upside
The immediate result of this support may be nothing at all, especially if Tribe B does not use the forums. Regardlessly, Tribe B is put into a corner, has no backing for their actions, and is being publicly ridiculed.
If the propaganda is good enough, it may entice more allies to join the side of Tribe A. It may even crush the hope of Tribe B, leaving an opening for an easy victory.
A propaganda thread can also backfire. If no evidence is used to back claims a quick and witty comeback can quickly sway the emotions of a mob, turning all of that hard work against you. If evidence is made up and proved incorrect, all credibility of the poster is lost, and he/she quickly becomes a ridicule. If threats, goofy pictures with no meaning, and insults are used, the poster may seem childish and insecure, giving a weakness for an opponent to exploit.
There is also a strict difference between propaganda and self-glorification/flaming. Propaganda uses specific facts while holding back others, or finds flaws in an opponent's logic. Meanwhile, self-glorification/flaming is simply a biased insult in hopes of clawing out some self-glorification from bringing an opponent unlikely of defense down.
There are two major forms of propaganda. The above examples are those against an opponent. However, one more commonly dubbed as spam is also effective, called
And the How.
The How To of Hoot and Hype
Feelings are not supposed to be logical. Dangerous is the man who has rationalized his emotions. - David Borenstein
Make Your Opponent Look like a Monkey
You are a physical representation of your tribe. Don't act like an idiot. Most people can and will fall in love with a group of people if just one person seems likable. If you ever have a position of power or leadership, this is a hugely important part of propaganda. If you can seem gentlemanly under the stress of war and threats, if you can force your opponent into using insults, then you have won. Simply quote him and let everyone enjoy your suave victory.
However, do not think that you must change your attitude for this to work. The exact opposite can be used, too. If you show absolutely no respect to a player, but still manage to find errors in his logic or force him to use insults to counter a goofy attitude, you will effectively break down his own ethos. A great example follows:
Openeye completely ignored kn1ghtmair's question, and instead pointed out something that seemed ridiculous, thereby tearing down his opponents confidence. You get the idea.
Originally Posted by Openeye
To Err is to be a Loser
An error in argument or logic can be a quick and decisive loss. If you ever quote anything, make sure its reliable and truthful. Make sure anything you say is rock solid. If you accuse Tribe B of harboring fugitives, give overwhelming evidence. Give mail messages, attack reports, TW Plus tribe-change links, and anything else that can seal and lock an idea.
However, finding an error in argument or logic can be a quick and decisive victory. Let's say you are an unlucky victim of propaganda. The absolute best way to defend yourself from bad publicity is to prove it wrong. However, you can effectively destroy the credibility of the author by proving just one part wrong.
Let's say the author misquoted. Let's say he used a single fact wrong. Point it out, and quickly follow it with a witty comment like "Get your facts straight before you publish this on the front page of Times, buddy. No one cares." (You get the idea. If I had a more direct situation I could come up with something better.) Then include a list of your own facts against your opponent. You will see why soon.
It is almost impossible to arrange a counter argument after you have been proving wrong without seceding and admitting that the fact was wrong. This basically "gives up ground" to the opponent, making any counter facts you listed against the opening poster twice as effective. Nothing is worse than an insult the one being insulted agreed upon.
Appease the Crowd
Know what the audience is here for: entertainment. Hell, this is a game. If you can make the audience laugh, make yourself seem funny and likable, public opinion will quickly sway your way. So why not include a bit of sarcasm into an air-tight argument?
If you find yourself corner, make the argument itself seem ridiculous. "So what if I lost a village, you lost three villages of offense. It was a military retreat." (As I wrote, in the back of my mind, I heard Simon Cowell's voice say "That was dreadful!")
However, do not think humor by itself is a form of propaganda. Yes, people will laugh at you if you act like a monkey, but it the end you are still acted like a goddamn monkey. Never use humor in place of logic. A bland but sturdy argument always beats a funny but useless one.
Statement -> Lololol epic fail is not effective propaganda.
Statement -> Proof -> Lololol epic fail is.
Logic stumps emotion.
Facts stump humor.
But emotion and humor govern the crowd.
Afterword: This guide is mainly focused on argumentation form of propaganda, with a poster aiming to change the opinion of the public on themselves by using an opponent. There is plenty of other forms of propaganda, most common being publicity (bragging). Not all propaganda is used against an opponent like this guide is intended. However, the majority of crapaganda on this forum has been the argumentation form. And while bad publicity can be categorized as spam and glechossen, bad propaganda can only fester, being on topic however bad