Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Category: Current events

Further Confusion 2022 is canceled, and a volunteer staffer speaks about the experience

by Patch O'Furr

Contract terms and angry messages

The cancelation of San Jose’s Further Confusion, among the world’s largest furry cons, was sad for everyone involved. Hopefully they will weather this and return next year. It must have been maximum difficulty at last minute during an unprecedented spike of the Covid pandemic.

The stakes are laid as soon as a furry convention signs a contract to fill a hotel. They get a block of rooms and are on the hook to deliver hundreds of rentals. It takes special circumstances to get released from the contract. If the terms don’t specify a zombie invasion, expect a bill while sharpening your machete! The pandemic must have given them a dilemma: Face a six figure debt or be a spreader event?

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NFT’s bring hype, greed, and fraud; Creativity will suffer, says guest writer Doppelfoxx

by Dogpatch Press Staff

(Editor opinion by Patch): Cryptocurrency isn’t for me, because… (1) The energy use hurts the climate, (2) I wouldn’t try volatile trading without being highly informed, (3) I have no interest in heroin or hiring a hitman. That’s a popular stance among furries, but let’s not just be popular. One should know their enemy.

In theory, this blockchain technology is for decentralized exchange, kind like Paypal + Bittorrent for outsiders. In theory, I’d say it has some worthy use. Why? Look at Wikileaks, which did whistleblowing about governments — and was cut off from traditional funding — or even consider how to fund furries with identity and expression issues beyond borders. I also wonder if crypto’s energy use could reconcile with sustainability through computing advances, but ask a cryptographer. I’m not techie enough to understand the math beyond science fiction.

Basically, if you see blockchain tech covered by me, it’s from learning and putting things on record. Like its influence on the record highest fursuit auction, or the fandom’s only auction site. (I’ve never covered NFT’s.) Do you want it covered differently? Send a guest article! The following opinion piece covers NFT’s, another blockchain concept that isn’t interchangeable like currency. This isn’t vetted by a tech editor, so please use the comments for feedback. (- Patch)

The Furry Fandom, artist culture, and the dangers of Non-Fungible Tokens  

 

Cryptocurrency isn’t a new thing to a lot of people. Most safely assume that it’s a common matter to discuss by now. From one trend to another, it seems like the over-publicized success stories, scam emails, and ads that badger you to invest or download this or that app never stop coming. Yet while furries are notoriously well versed in technology, for most of us, it’s just background noise. Spam, business con tactics, and maybe hearsay from the friend of a friend who invested; it all sounds almost good enough to break through our skepticism… but not quite.

However, early in 2021, things suddenly changed. A digital work from Mike Winkelmann (AKA Beeple), entitled ‘Everydays: The First 5000 Days’, sold for $69.3 million USD. It was entirely unexpected for most of the online community, and the term NFT exploded like crypto did before it.

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Anti-LGBT Russian government morality activist visits and harasses fursuit walkers

by Patch O'Furr

From the fursuit walk in a video posted by Skip Doggy on Russian social media. SEE Q&A at BOTTOM about the walk.

“Here it is – the price to be a representative of the Moscow Furry Fandom.”

Furry fan @Matvey_Muhin has a story that goes with media reports like this one from PinkNews: “Russia considers officially branding LGBT+ groups and furries as ‘extremists’“.

BACKGROUND: The reports look at political homophobia in the Russian government, and a commission that claims to protect morality. The reports say the commission chairman, Andrey Tsyganov, called for the government to help law enforcement by listing ideologies on their extremism list. The list includes the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, and the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) of Alexey Navalny, a jailed opponent of Russian president Vladimir Putin. Listing these groups allows banning related gatherings and media, and Putin has been using it to squash his political foes.

That’s how Tsyganov wants to legally discriminate against LGBT people, supposedly to protect kids from “propaganda” — making it extremist to discuss LGBT people breathing and existing, as if they come from recruiting. The logic shows conservative belief of what a family should be, with a goal to enforce it by squashing LGBT people. Straight families with children are supposed to thrive through this false understanding of how sexuality works. They could just as soon seek power by squashing interracial dating.

Tsyganov started with such a reach, and blasted off from earth like Sputnik when he added LGBT+, radical feminist, child-free groups… and furries.

What’s the problem with furries, again? The logic is: (1) People on the internet make weird porn. (2) Some of them are furries. (3) Fandom freedom includes tolerance for LGBT expression. (4) Kids are in trouble while those exist. Those things don’t necessarily overlap, but it raises stereotyping about non-traditional gender and sexuality. This got furry porn site e621 banned in Russia (an easy target that shows the government was already watching.)

Furries face such attitudes rooted in old bigotry. Of course fandom isn’t exactly an identity, but it makes a community. Targeting their expression is just around the corner from direct homophobia. Compare how in the 1970’s, Disco music was targeted for being made by LGBT and minority people, even if the music itself is just music. So if furries belong on an “extremist” list, imagine getting attacked for dancing to the Ra-Ra-Rasputin song!

@Matvey_Muhin faced this with fellow furry Skip Doggy. He wrote:

“Can you imagine that Andrei Tsyganov came to our furry walk Tsaritsyno, Kolomeskaya. He continued to accuse us of pedophilia in front of children. But Skip drove him away. When a high-level official comes to us personally, it shows his madness. Long story short – the Christian radical and anti-vaxer is attacking us (especially me and Skip). Here it is – the price to be a representative of the Moscow Furry Fandom.”

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Zoosadist investigation: Matthew “Cupid” Grabowsky harasses investigator, gets immediately slapped with child porn conviction

by Patch O'Furr

Content warning for animal abuse and sexual violence. 

In September 2021, Washington furry fan Matthew “Cupid” Grabowsky was convicted for a new charge of child porn possession. He faces up to 20 years in jail. This revives news of his 2019 animal cruelty conviction, which drew protest about his continued presence in the furry fan community. We’ll look into how Cupid was convicted, but first let’s look at how this supports a deeper story about a crime ring he was in.

NEW CORROBORATION: 2019 reporting by Dogpatch Press featured Cupid in the headline, and claimed a deeper story.

The 2019 report here covered a big leak of a furry/zoophile crime ring for animal torture porn (zoosadism) and child abuse. Think movie serial-killer-like behavior. Hundreds of hours of investigation found a “matrix of corroboration”. Legal documents for Cupid’s new conviction add more evidence:

  • There’s new disclosure of serious crime predating August 2018; the same time period in the Dogpatch Press report.
  • Cupid’s 2019 conviction was a misdemeanor that let him off easy, indicating he gained a plea deal that let him come back and minimize his crime.
  • Cupid’s 2021 charge led to immediate conviction with a guilty plea. (That can happen from breaking terms of a deal, explaining why it came out now.)
  • The newly disclosed crime involved multiple child victims, even toddlers forced into sexual contact with animals.
  • Victim ID’s hinted in new court documents don’t match other known victims reported to law enforcement; more may keep coming out.

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The dedicated watchdog: Moxxey reports online animal abuse (Part 3).

by Patch O'Furr

CONTENT WARNING – Part (1) A Killer – (2) A Trend – (3) A Watchdog

The frustration is palpable. Moxxey publishes stories of atrocious behavior to animals, but how can it be stopped when huge websites have channels full of it?

Moxxey runs Rodent Club on Livejournal. Livejournal isn’t active like it was years ago, but citizen reporting can start anywhere, and reaching out from there is a good idea for an activist with a purpose. (I think he should also join the Trusted Flaggers in Part (2). And keep sharing cute pet stories for more notice!)

Moxxey returns comments about Part 1-2:

“This is a good start to helping expose and explain the problem that these social platforms are giving to animal cruelty perpetrators, and what needs to be done to fix this. A bit more needs to be said about small animal cruelty regarding hamsters, guinea pigs, rats, mice, rabbits, baby birds, etc. Too often they’re not protected under cruelty laws or seen as not important because they are small creatures.

The Reptile Channel is just one of these horrific channels creating “live feeding” videos under the guise of education. It’s really cruel entertainment for a profit and a very twisted audience. No matter what you try to do to report it on the AI reporting systems for Youtube, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, etc., nothing ever gets done to remove the videos.

Even with an AI system, there’s no excuse for not having proper options to signify that when there’s animal cruelty — it’s time to get a human moderator involved! Facebook seems to have one of the worst reporting systems, which never give the proper option boxes to check, nor an explanation of what’s going on. They almost always respond, “Sorry we did not find the selected post to go against our community guidelines”. 🙁

What is needed is more news coverage by video, news pages and TV to let the public know what’s secretly going on with animal cruelty online.”

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The Zoosadism Channel: A look at a trend of animal abuse on social media (Part 2).

by Patch O'Furr

CONTENT WARNING – Part (1) A Killer – (2) A Trend – (3) A Watchdog

Huge platforms are letting it happen. It’s under their noses, according to this June 2021 report. National Geographic: How fake animal rescue videos have become a new frontier for animal abuse.

That’s disturbing at wide scale, because of how social media attention meets psychological escalation. Part (1) looked into the Omegle Cat Killer, where an investigator said: “Animal abusers have total power over that animal and, if someone is willing to be that cruel to an animal, evidence suggests they may target vulnerable humans as well,” said Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan, FBI Indianapolis.” — Kokomo Tribune

Despite such a warning about the extremes, it seems like the odds are against justice. A standout example among furries was Kero the Wolf, a popular Youtuber exposed in a zoosadist crime ring. The evidence led to arrests, but child abuse was the focus and most members got away with it. Kero’s attempts to gaslight the public about his innocence made him The O.J. Simpson of furries. His presence highlights a gap in the laws.

This part covers the exploitation on social media, and Part (3) will feature someone working to bridge the gap.

A content pool with no lifeguard

In 1940, protest rose up about a horse tumbling over a cliff in a Western movie. It triggered regulation for the industry to stop using animals like disposable props. Now Hollywood movies get American Humane certification by following a 132-page guide. But tech platforms aren’t so regulated.

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The Omegle Cat Killer: A true crime tale of stopping online animal abuse (Part 1)

by Patch O'Furr

CONTENT WARNING for animal abuse – Part (1) A Killer – (2) A Trend – (3) A Watchdog

He had to be stopped. Someone was killing cats and posting the videos online. Internet sleuths were hunting a killer who reveled in taunting them. In December 2019, their story came out on Netflix as Don’t F*ck With Cats. It was one of the year’s most-watched documentaries.

As hard as they tried, identifying the killer wasn’t enough. They felt helpless until he escalated to killing a human victim and mailing the body parts to terror targets. Finally the authorities noticed, and Canadian man Luka Magnotta was caught and convicted. The story suggests that taking animal cruelty seriously could have saved a person, and it showed a trend for attention: “Murderers have become online broadcasters. And their audience is us.

Months after the show, the same trend terrorized the furry fandom and made a new case for the FBI.

More than a copycat

In May 2020, the new Covid-19 situation was turning the world upside down. Stuck in quarantine, furry fans found a way to lift their spirits. They joined a regular event on the Omegle video chat service, using hashtags to meet fellow fans by random connection.

They weren’t expecting to connect to a woman in an animal-skin mask, gripping a bloody skull a little bigger than an egg. It almost looked fake, until she used a finger to pop out an eyeball like a grape.

Whoever was doing this wasn’t just shocking random targets. She knew about the event and targeted them with hashtags like #furries, #fursuit and #furryfandom. It made a trail with sightings of gory animal parts and links to Instagram and Tiktok. It was hard to document live incidents, but alarm spread and reached millions of viewers on Youtube. She got attention she wanted, but where did she come from?

The hype never told the full story. It passed like a blip and Youtubers and blogs quickly forgot. We’ll get to what happened in 2021 — but first, she didn’t just start in 2020 without warning. A path was laid much earlier.

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$50,000 FURSUIT: crypto-fueled bidding smashes auction record at The Dealers Den

by Patch O'Furr

The new all-time fursuit auction record is worth a nice car or some people’s yearly income. (Highest commission is a different number.) It’s been 3 years since the last record by MixedCandy: A look at furry business with a $17,017 record fursuit auction price, July 2018.

Shifting winds of tech and business helped make this possible; it has to do with porn, politics, and payment providers. We’ll get into that… but I’m sure that wasn’t on the mind of Zuri Studios and Sabi, the owner/maker based in the Czech Republic with a fluffalicious folio of “god tier fursuits“. (This auction is a contract to create one, not an existing fursuit.)

Sabi just found out there’s no business like sew business.

$100K fursuit when?

Tripling the record since 2018 gets steaming hot takes on social media. How can any suit be worth so much? 

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Jimmy Kimmel’s Fursuit Fixation

by Joe Strike

Welcome to guest Joe Strike, journalist and author of Furry Nation, the furry fandom history book. (- Patch)

It’s not the first time Jimmy Kimmel has exploited Furry for a cheap laugh or two. (Furs with long memories or prone to Wikifur browsing might remember Kimmel/The Man Show’s 2003 ConFurence controversy.)

— but Kimmel (or his writers’) anti-furry bias has resurfaced with vengeance, judging from a couple of recent throwaway Jimmy Kimmel Show gags. On May 5th Kimmel referenced the ongoing NaziFur controversy in the most trivializing/assholey manner possible:

“Twitter has a feature now that will double-check with you before you post a mean or offensive comment… some people even want to get on the list [of comments or language that should be confirmed before posting].

He then posted a screen capture of a news story comment reading “Can we get “NaziFur” added to the toxicity list? It’s used by furrys [sic] who want to demonize other furrys who they can hate and it causes them irreparable reputational harm.”

Kimmel’s “clever” comeback (perhaps inspired by that memorable Entourage episode – ):

“That’s right, it causes ‘harm’ to the reputations of those of us who like to get a handy in a squirrel costume every once in a while.”

Yes, because nothing says “funny” like comparing fascism to masturbation.

Gag can be viewed here; comment author posted as a nazifur and was banned from Furaffinity.

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Mass shooting shows 6 reasons for furries to worry about the causes.

by Patch O'Furr

Last month, Equestria Daily warned about blowback to fans: The Indianapolis FedEx Mass Shooter Was Apparently A Brony, and Obsessed with Applejack. The 19 year old shooter carried it out after posting online that he hoped to see the cartoon character in the afterlife. “Brony” stands out by the Man Bites Dog rule, but there’s more details. Previously he had a gun seized, and got confined for threats after visiting white supremacist websites. Half of those killed were Sikhs. (I REALLY hate that, because of learning about this at the birthday of a Sikh friend. Every one I’ve met is a sweetheart.)

Rolling Stone asked: “Do Bronies have a Nazi problem?” They say fandom isn’t inherently problematic, but it faces infiltration by problems. Being a fan of cartoons isn’t a threat, but there’s threats coming out of fandom. Maybe giving a heads up about negativity should also say…

1: It’s not the only incident.

  • (2020): In Texas, Daniel Perry killed a protester after tweeting about how to kill protesters. His FurAffinity page got far-right gloating.
  • (2020): Furry in Ohio shot up a school, thankfully just hitting the building and nobody was hurt.
  • (2017): Randy Stair, a Brony who made animated fan videos, did a mass shooting at his workplace that was predicted by his creations.
  • (2016:) 3 killed in Fullerton CA by 3 furries, they all mingled at furry events and might not have met without them.

Maybe this isn’t more frequent than in general society, but do they share context? And isn’t one shooting too many?

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