Zoosadism leaks: possibly the worst story to ever hit fandom.

by Patch O'Furr

Content warning: extreme animal abuse

Since 2010, US states have begun trying to implement registries for abusers. Take action here.

With no fanfare, public attention was riveted by a leak of private data spread by a Twitter account linking to a Telegram channel. It held compiled .rars hosted on Mega, containing chat logs, images and videos exposing years of activity. It was sourced from secretive chat groups connected to furry fandom.

The data implicated a ring of users sharing fetish material of unspeakably sadistic animal abuse. It was graphic evidence of rape, torture and murder of animals for enjoyment. The briefest skim of the Telegram channel was gut-wrenching. Among plain text chats and links, there was a thumbnail of a tied-up dog being raped with a baseball bat. The public response was tremendous shock and disgust.

There’s a list of some of those videos.

Most furry stuff is harmless creativity, and Dogpatch Press shares positive news about it. But the site also has an established presence for exposing hidden stories, so I was tagged with some highly followed furry accounts and asked to spread the leak. Essentially I was a “first responder” on the scene. Tips came in immediately before the public was even aware, and people were scared about this coming out. It was the focus of an intense smokescreen and I saw it coming from the start.

As it developed, denial and conspiracy built up a highly sensitive and conflicted story. Evidence came out in pieces, got swiss-cheesed by deletions, then pushed back by dishonesty. Of course anyone personally involved would lie their asses off. But then there were ambulance-chasers and hucksters cashing in on fake “debunking”, and deluded fools manipulated by misplaced loyalty.

The task for anyone looking at this is to try to figure out just what the heck is going on; the size and shape of the network, who was complicit but not inside, who did content sharing but not creation, who was directly responsible for uploading toxic files, and who committed crimes.

Bullshit for views

It’s easy to expose a story when evidence is easily found, but fame and attention totally distorted it in this case. Public awareness went FUBAR when everyone focused on one implicated party, because they were the one with a huge following: Kero the Wolf, with over 100,000 Youtube subscribers. Many others in the leaks got little notice because they had few followers.

Those followers were the base for emotionally-fueled defenses and “stand with Kero” efforts. They focus on a supposed conspiracy by mystery hackers with no discernable motive and extremely convenient timing for what would take magically astronomical labor to pull off.

The most popular defense I looked at reached no insight more profound than “HTML is editable”, missing the fact that evidence of messaging exists server-side inside Telegram, not client-side. Then there was absurd garbage-takes about screenshots having usual .jpg compression as if that showed “editing”. Others tried to shoot down decontextualized fragments – such as how a single video attributed to one person wasn’t him (it actually came from sharing, but not being in all videos wouldn’t clear someone of deep complicity.) These were such reaches, they made things look worse.

The story was muddied by defenders having just enough knowledge to be dangerous, and an audience of passionate and impressionable young people. Let’s be clear: the instant contrarian reactions are full of shit, and people are milking them for views and money. If they don’t focus on the animal victims and an undeniable ring of guilt, a decent course is to shut up and perhaps expect those accused to get lawyers instead. And definitely not gain from the attention.

A proper investigation also should avoid depicting any single participant as the number one guy, and explore the other people caught up in it to establish the existence of a network. That would build the tightest story. The bleak alternative is seeing all the bogus denial prevail, fueling fake news and slimy Youtube careerism built on sexually tortured puppies. You couldn’t write satire as pathetic as this cheap, debased idolatry.

Supposedly, someone invented a giant ring to frame one guy? Let’s cut the crap. Attempts to retcon this into a conspiracy are refuted by the breadth and depth of the evidence. The preponderance of it says there isn’t one – just people who got exposed and want it covered up. The heinous things they did must not be denied.

Issues for investigation

The “real animal” zoophilia line has long blurred the edges of subculture. Stuff like role-play, costuming with consenting adults, rubber fantasy dongs, or enjoying plain TV documentary seem like someone else’s business. I’ve usually left it distinct and needing case-by-case pro handling. I’m not a pro, a cop, a prude, or an outsider. Being an insider to fandom is why I’ve been asked to weigh in with perspective that won’t come from pros.

I’m also not a techie, but spent years of membership with a hackerspace. I sat in the audience at a federal trial and saw how network use hidden by VPN proved a case of hacking with no direct evidence. It’s far-fetched to believe conveniently-timed hacking claims, but you don’t need direct evidence for circumstantially overwhelming proof of participation in a network.

The more time you spend online, the more familiar you may be with the catalog of Nasty Internet Shit, from shock and gore to illegal CP.  I’ve previously covered animal abuse by “RL vore”, plus some meta-narrative about how this stuff circulates:

This story makes a new wrinkle. Necro-zoo and zoosadism/”hardzoo” are words I’d never imagined using in years of writing. (Yeah, it makes me barf, how about you?) I wouldn’t be surprised to see new laws made about legality of such files, like when crush fetish files were outlawed in 2010. It’s that unprecedentedly bad.

But so far sharing files that leaked appears to be legal. I’ll bet last century’s laws haven’t caught up to networks connecting individual abuse cases in scattered jurisdictions. They will get hidden. These networks might also have a lot of passive viewers who may not know of the extreme abuse, and some may be many peoples’ friends, causing conflict of interest about info sharing. So, suppose professional investigation happens, but given the nature of the material and how it came out, it gets stymied by the disinformation, geographic dislocation and inadequate laws. What should happen short of findings by cops and courts?

The prospect of all of this getting brushed under the rug is, of course, the reason why it may have been spread in public in the first place. That’s a solid reason to dismiss denials based on it not being handled by law enforcement first (it was reported) while sources duck backlash.

“Innocent until proven guilty” is a standard for court, not life. It’s a legal construct for if you’re charged with an offense by the State. Courts aren’t perfect and let people off on technicality all the time; and employment, public opinion or politics (like do you believe this candidate?) are some of many situations where judgement lands in between getting off completely unscathed, and being convicted of crime and sentenced to prison. Documenting and seeking change can help.

This is crucial: Animals can’t talk, so their abuse may never come out (especially if evidence is disposed or untraceable). Authorities may consider this too low level for followup that would go to human abuse. But we all know this is horrible beyond words. And for people who did it, it’s part of a spectrum that can eventually lead to much worse, the “dark triad” of behavior. If that sounds like a slippery-slope or thoughtcrime type argument, ask yourself if you would let people into this stuff babysit your pet. No? Then we have an issue beyond a crime issue. It’s not a disagreement, this stuff is universally scarybad. So this isn’t just for cops. It’s a social issue.

How this fandom handles members remorselessly raping animals to death – or gives them a pass – will be a test beyond any other that has ever happened here.

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