Psychological Operations (PSYOP, PSYOPS) are techniques used to influence a target audience's emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and behavior. The target audience is usually the userbase of a target website, and PsyOps are used in order to induce confessions, or reinforce attitudes and behaviors favorable to the objectives at hand. These are sometimes combined with black operations.
This concept has been used by military institutions throughout history. /i/'s first concerted attempt at PsyOps was during the Longcat Crusade, where it was used to enormous and advantageous effect--turning a large part of the Subeta userbase against the admins and Owner. Psyops are usually employed in LARGE raids, that require the decimation of an entire population of forumgoers and the breakdown of admin-user relations.
Psyops must be willing to (at least temporarily) become the thing they hate. They must embed themselves into the organizational structure of a site and agree. agree with everything. However, the psyop's skill comes in they way he phrases his agreement. Consider this: The site owner says something along the lines of, "So, these eBaums **** are really *******s." The user will say, "Yeah! I hate them!!!" The PsyOp says, "They are! But we shouldn't call them ****...that's intolerant."
The difference is subtle, but meaningful. You have agreed with the admins, but you have also pointed out that the admins are intolerant. As you post more, the more dissent you can spread... while completely agreeing and following the TOS and/or EULA.
Knowing your enemy, then knowing yourself. First, you want to get some basic background knowledge on the subject so that you can fit in. Make sure you have the basics down for sure, for example, special slang useful if the target has any. However, unless you're representing yourself as a newcomer to their 'culture', you'll obviously need a more in depth understanding. Your options here are pretty much researching the subject VERY thoroughly, or just keeping a wiki on the subject open in another tab so you can look things up as you have to. The latter option is probably the better one, as it would require an epic amount of research to replicate years of fandom; you will probably trip up if you're not actively researching what people are saying. Use this to make relevant comments that demonstrate your knowledge, without being too obvious that you're showing off. More important than just that, though is really enriching your trollsona, and giving it some depth. People on the internet have grown suspicious and cynical, and it is usually no longer enough for "squirtlefan296" to show up on your forum and be welcomed unconditionally. At least a little background will almost always be necessary, and more is almost always better. Preparing these details in advance will help you be consistent, and make it easier to sprinkle them throughout your interactions with the target from the very beginning. The obvious details to start with are the details related to your target. If you are infiltrating furries, get a fursona and stick to it. Digimon Believers? Choose your favorite Digimon and theme with it.
Such themed details are certainly important. But they will likely do little to protect you if you begin to arouse suspicion. The things that will make you really convincing is the details that go deeper. They may seem irrelevant, but having a high level of detail can make people very resistant to the idea that you are a psyops. Prepare details to your trollsona that extend beyond the range of just the focus of the target; nobody is JUST a furry or JUST a Digimon believer. Some examples of things to consider: What is your living situation? Any hobbies? Do you have a circle of nerdy friends, or are you too shy? Fake personal pictures are very, very useful, and they are relatively easy to find. Giving your trollsona a face makes you more than just an anonymous account to them. Few people will doubt you once they feel like they know who you are in real life. If you are on a forum, make sure you choose an avatar, and put some text in your signature, maybe lyrics from your trollsona's favorite band. I can't tell you how many trolls I've seen with no personalization on their profiles at all; there is no reason for this, as it is incredibly easy to do, and makes you much, much more convincing. The point here is, as you become less generic, people's trust in your legitimacy rises exponentially. The final thing to consider is whether or not you want to be a girl. There is no better tool than hormones to blind male nerds to the truth, and just being a girl who seems to share interests with them can be enough to make them leap to your defense. However, it is also more to remember, and being a consistently convincing girl can be tricky. If you were born a natural girl, then congratulations, you got lucky in this area.
PROTIP: Wikipedia and specialized Wikis are a great way to blend in, that and lurking moar on their sites, to know as much as you can about the target material and culture.
You should have a legit looking email; a good psyop specialist has a load of gmails and such on hand to switch between, with themed names like "Dragonluv16" and such. Profiles on other forums help for deep infiltration, and vets may have elaborate fake MySpaces and accounts on multiple furry forums and such to blend in to the crowd and appear natural. Of course, for a normal raid such elaboration is not required; simply a good looking email will do, and perhaps some IM accounts.
Your manner of speaking should be uniform, and if the situation calls (which it too-often does) dumb down your language from a "Why yes, sir, I agree with your theory" to "lol u tak him 2 da bar 4 2moro?" or whatever is around par with the locals.
Now you enter the target. If you intend to go out with a bang or to maitain the veil of secrecy, use FoxyProxy to create a filter that ensures everything on the target site goes through your secure proxy (not hard, just look at the options and create the filters). Be casual about it, sign up and post a story in the Welcome forums or whatever. Always remember the art of secrecy you must undertake:
1. Do not use a meme name or have any ties to any chan or even eBuams
2. Do not post your psyops name on /i/, /b/, IRC, or any other place. "I am a psyops" is good enough.
3. Do not reveal specifics, like "So and so invited me to here, and this person is X" when "I am gaining their trust" is fine.
Remember, even if they don't let on that they know or if they eventually discover our boards, they will ruin your psyop project. This was a problem during the Subeta Wars, though we turned it against the enemy: By posting names of regular users and claiming that to be our psyops accounts, a greater level of fear was spread and innocents were banned.
When a raid starts smarter people look at and ban all the people that registered on or during the raid, or on the date of the thread creation. If you are a raid OP or it is discussed in IRC, plant psyops a week or so before the raid begins for maximum damage.
The first thing should not do is post in the "We are getting raided!" or "Trolls are attacking!" thread or even mention your toll name to anyone else. This will screw up any psyops. Post first in a "I am new here" thread or jump into an existing conversation "I signed up because I wanted to say, I think you are wrong and pokemon are better then digimon!" or whatever. That's a good way to start gaining trust and reputation: Try to take a popular opinion that has opposition, and use your superior talent to out-argue the others on whatever trivial thing it might be, while being civil and a good, obedient forum-goer. Make some friends, get people to like you, be a pretty cool guy eh doesn't afraid of nothing. Then you wait.
When the spammers appear, you just cry out with the rest- "ZOMG! HOW HORRIBLE!" and then begin by supporting everything the mods do- but poin out small things like intolerance, or minor flaws. Eventually, you should work to undermine the head's credibility while the spammers **** the site for real.