Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Category: Politics

FurAffinity updates Code of Conduct, backlash by hate groups promoted by 2 Gryphon

by Patch O'Furr

IN THIS ARTICLE: FurAffinity bans hate groups – click through the Twitter threads to see many screenshots of what they were promoting. 

The true story of FurAffinity account bans

Furry art is full of cute, cuddly cartoons. Many FurAffinity users wanted to know – why was the site being used for hate imagery? If the art has to be edgy, couldn’t they just stick to good old-fashioned Hyper Diaper Pokemon Porn or whatever? At least sex is positive and life-affirming.

On the site and on Twitter, protest rose against activity that seemed to violate the Code of Conduct, while complaints were being dismissed by site staff. The CoC looked toothless because promotion of hate groups was excused with an exception for “fictional” activity.

What furry stuff ISN’T fictional? And depicting hate imagery in a positive light IS promotion. That’s part of the history of propaganda. And making excuses that it’s just historical interest reminds me of when I used to sell rare books at an antique mall; let’s be honest here, that chicken-necked skinhead with a swastika on his elbow wasn’t visiting that creepy dealer down the lane just for memorabilia. (His money was no good to me.)

During the protesting, FurAffinity users openly claiming to be alt-right trolls were gloating about driving traffic from the site and taunting those who left. That’s like getting acquitted for a hate crime and then mooning the judge. Sometimes nazis dress to impress, but nobody ever accuses them of being smart.

The dumpster fire kept burning until the complaints started tagging FurAffinity’s corporate owner IMVU. Perhaps they got worried about their anime-eyed avatars being the lesser evil on the site.

Soon the Code of Conduct was updated, and dozens of accounts went dark. It seemed to follow a precedent set a few months earlier when Discord Inc. flushed many of the same assholes and their alt-right servers down the drain.

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AZ Republican Leader Exploits Furries To Disguise Anti-LGBT Policy, “Concentration Camp”

by Patch O'Furr

By Tempe O’Kun and Patch, with thanks to Tonya Song for interview questions.

Recently, AZ Rep. Kelly Townsend (a politician in the Arizona House of Representatives since 2013) stumbled into the furry fandom.  She’d been threatening to sue teachers who were organizing for resources to fix a crisis in schools with leaky roofs, 25-year-old textbooks, rats in classrooms, and no budget to afford toilet paper. It all started when she responded to criticism by Pepper Coyote, a furry who happens to be a teacher in Arizona.

Furries, as we are naturally inclined to do, welcomed the curiosity with the usual range of mostly-SFW responses. This sort of interaction happens with some regularity. Some innocent outsider happens upon the fandom, and we get to watch him or her discover the wacky world of talking animals. Sometimes they even become a loved fixture of the community like Boozy Badger.

Except that’s not what’s happening here.

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“Naughty Bits” fursuit video shoot with Rachel Lark – sex-positive art in the age of Trump.

by Patch O'Furr

(Adult content)

Armed with a ukelele and raunchy/smart songs like “Fuck My Toe”, Rachel Lark is an Oakland, CA based singer-songwriter with a fierce and funny voice. She has a new song, “Naughty Bits”, that playfully protests against sex-negative politics. It’s a response to SESTA, a law against sex trafficking that throws free expression under the bus. Furry dating site Pounced closed in fear of overreach of the law.

For those of you who don’t know what’s up with SESTA (and I’m not judging, there’s a lot going on these days) here’s what you should know….

1. It equates all sex work with sex trafficking (not the same thing)
2. It hurts sex workers AND victims of sex trafficking
3. It has serious and scary implications for free speech on the internet
4. It potentially criminalizes sex worker solidarity and advocacy

This law sucks, but when things suck, we make art, and that’s the only way out of the despair. Rachel Lark

Rachel wrote an in-depth article about this: SESTA, Sex Work, and Art in the Age of Trump.

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2 Gryphon punches down on a critic – what can we learn from this?

by Patch O'Furr

Quick: What’s the difference between a car driven into a crowd by a terrorist, and a swimming pool? That’s a question about the video below from 2 Gryphon.

He was reacting to a video criticizing his beliefs about hate groups. Like neo-nazi marchers who murdered a woman in 2017 by driving a Dodge Challenger into a crowd – (with participation by haters from the furry community, leading one to kill himself in March 2018.)

2 Gryphon claims to be respectful of the critic Tantroo McNally, AKA Sonious. a furry news writer and Youtuber. At the same time, his reaction was punching down on an easy target with 369 subscribers in front of his 28,000.  That’s unusual. Sonious doesn’t get other ratings like this, and it pushes down search results. With so much unbalance, it’s hard to get both sides. Everyone likes both sides, right? So let’s give a deeper look to what Sonious was criticizing. This was the source of it all:

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The closing of Pounced.org is a wake up call for fandom attitudes about sex.

by Patch O'Furr

Yesterday’s article covered the closing of Pounced, a long-lived furry dating and personals site, out of fear of legal liability under a controversial new law, FOSTA. A statement on Pounced discussed ill-defined wording that made the law overkill; and how the smallest organizations may face the worst liability. It particularly could require administration that sounds easy on paper, but makes an untenable burden in practice.

FOSTA is meant to protect assumed victims of sex trafficking, but falsely makes “victims” and “sex work” the same thing. My article suggested that nobody wants trafficking abuse, but sex work isn’t illegal everywhere, it exists everywhere and can be called a healthy consenting adult issue. Beyond that is anti-free-speech, anti-business, and intrusive paternalism of a law that has collateral damage on stuff like harmless dating. Here’s some editorial elaboration.

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Pounced.org shuts down – international fans affected by American politics.

by Patch O'Furr

The site was key to starting a convention in Sweden.

Pounced.org, launched in March 2003, was a free, location-based service to help furries meet other furries. This long-time staple of fandom served them anywhere they exist. According to Wikifur, over 71,000 users and 13,000 personal ads were listed in 2016.

Ethan Staghorn, a Swedish furry, told me:

Ethan Staghorn

Pounced was key in making @NordicFuzzCon happen, and in growing the local fandom. Through Pounced, I found my very first local fandom friend, @MrJoelFox. A few years later, we decided to advertise a local furmeet since we wanted to make more local friends. About eight people showed up, among them  and @traxswe, who both were attending their first furmeet. They started talking (and spoke to me) about doing a convention, which became the first NordicFuzzCon a little over a year later. They were the first two chairmen. NFC really did wonders for the local community, too. But I doubt any of this would have happened if I hadn’t seen Joel advertise on Pounced. He’s the only person I ever contacted through the site. I don’t really get personal ads, but his ad was calling out to me “this person is in your town and must be studying the same thing as you; you have to contact them!”  knows the exact dates of many of these occurrences, since he recently did some digging for a wonderful panel he hosted at NordicFuzzCon about the history of NFC.

The site feared legal liability under a controversial new law – Fandom can’t just say no to politics. 

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Discord bans Altfurry hate speech – see what they’re hiding with a leaked organizer phone call.

by Patch O'Furr

(Content warning: antisemitic hate)

Altfurry and the Furry Raiders are toxic trolls on the fringes of fandom. These tiny groups claim to be furries, but they align with alt-right hate groups in the larger culture. Their harassment of a subculture comes disguised with bad-faith claims to support “freedom” and oppose “SJW’s.” Here’s a look behind the false front and a reminder that their hate is like oil and water to this community.

Racist hostility can’t coexist with a group full of queer nerds that’s based on tolerance and creativity. This makes altfurries uncomfortable about their alt-right associations, especially when they try to recruit – making them do two-faced, propagandistic denials that they’re “diverse” and not actually hateful. The denials are contradicted by how they look, talk, and act.

The denials are also contradicted by ban after ban for abuse on the platforms that they use for organizing. From early 2017 to February 2018, altfurries relied on Discord servers that hid behind layers of secrecy. Then on February 28, Discord kicked them out along with numerous other alt-right servers. I’ve been in contact with company reps about their investigation. What they found was as extreme as groups being responsible for murders – but Altfurry and the Furry Raiders weren’t let off the hook for the coordinated bans. They were all violating terms of service against hate.

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Ever hear that Altfurries are just trolls? A real Nazi leader is taking them seriously.

by Summercat

Founder of Neo-nazi website The Daily Stormer praises Nazifurs and Altfurs as good examples for his wider movement.

One defense of Nazifurs I’ve heard over the years is that they’re just adopting fascist fashion to get a rise out of you, or even that they’re mocking real Nazis. This doesn’t hold up well to me, as ones I knew in 2005 who said they were joking are mostly taking their act seriously now.

Something about staring into the void, I guess. Or maybe I was a shitty judge of character when I spent time with them as a naive 20 year old? It could be a bit of both. Friends of mine have looked on former mutuals with horror when I’ve pointed out how far some have gone.

But people still claim that we’re being ridiculous if we take this seriously. They say that real Nazis could never be – or accept – Furries.

That denialism gets weaker and weaker when real Nazis look at nazifurs and love what they see.

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Atlantic City Fur Con story sources and issues – Part 2.

by Patch O'Furr

About this story of a racist hate incident (Continued from Part 1:)

You’re looking at sensitive info that needs calm. For example, please don’t post event group pics by themselves to criticize event goers. I don’t support that because it’s not clear which were involved or innocent from one photo. Just as importantly, some people involved with mistakes could use support now.

This follows controversies in fandom in 2017 that peaked with the closing of Rocky Mountain Fur Con. Mismanagement and abuse of tolerance killed the con. This New Jersey event seemed to be near that ballpark. But unlike RMFC, the furry in charge was more caught up in other people’s actions, so it’s not about him so much. And Trenton (the furry who was mistreated) wasn’t making a strong statement like Deo – he just asked for respect.

The story wasn’t tipped by Trenton and he never asked for help. I was watching the chat when he tried to directly solve a problem. It led to intense peer pressure on others by haters, so it wasn’t good enough by itself. I think when haters use such tactics to recruit, it’s not solved by people just keeping to themselves if they don’t get along. Also, if hate groups are trying to grow, waiting until people leave them isn’t the only way to respond. So if there are side effects from publishing a story, there already are effects from not. The best thing that can happen with a story like this is take it as a real issue, then have a calm conversation. I think 75% of fandom drama recently is just about upholding that issues are real and can’t be trolled and denied out of existence. That’s why this article is giving sources. To be honest, I wish this wasn’t going out and it will hurt people, but it would hurt to not put it out. I’d love to see change and growth come from it.

The damage incident in the story had nothing to do with racism. It was part of a wider topic about behavior (did it remind you of another con closed by damage?) There was a request for their side first. Also, the line about Graymuzzles didn’t please everyone – sorry guys (you helped found the fandom). Same to good fraternities.

Summary of Part 1:

  • A small New Jersey furry group threw a party at a casino and the hotel was damaged (although it was taken care of.)
  • Radfox, the organizer, then decided to make it a real convention for the future.
  • The chat group for the party had a history of hateful posts.
  • Trenton (who is a black furry) complained about a stereotype meme and asked for better behavior if the chat was official for a con.
  • Radfox redirected offensive posting to an “anything goes” side chat, where members doubled down with racist hate for Trenton.
  • Radfox was peer pressured to discourage listening to “SJW” complaints, but said he was trying to start a real event and couldn’t have racism.
  • Members carried on attacking the concern and Trenton with neo-nazi propaganda, sourced from a terrorist group responsible for 5 murders. About 6 people were most responsible but others enabled it.
  • Part 1 asked: will those members be helping to found or staff a future event, and will fandom support it?

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Furries, frat party, or hate group? Atlantic City Fur Con has an identity crisis.

by Patch O'Furr

In February 2018, Radfox, a New Jersey furry, helped a small group of friends meet for a fun weekend party in a room suite at a casino. The success led Radfox to launch a real convention for a future date. The ad-hoc trial run was named Atlantic City Fur Con.

Behind the scenes, trouble was baked in from the start. Some members seemed to consider the purpose of the con to be frat-style partying and being “offensive“. This comment came in with the original story tip:

Apparently it was bad – lots of noise complaints, there was thousands of dollars in hotel damage. Someone pushed someone into the shower which broke the nozzle or something. Caused MAJOR water damage. It went through multiple floors and into the kitchen.

Review of the Telegram group for the event found lengthy discussion about thousands in damage. A pipe was broken and flooded 12 floors of the hotel.

This is only a minor part of the story. We’ve all made mistakes and had bad luck, and it’s only money, right? It’s not bad like trashing a person.

Radfox was asked for comment by direct message on Twitter on 2/24/18. He told me: “Everyone had a good time and kept within reason, there were no incidents with the hotel or their security.” I asked him again: is it really true there were no incidents with the hotel or their security? His last reply before blocking messages:

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