Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Category: Journalism

Terror, Teens, and Furaffinity — How a chain of violent hate incidents links to furry fandom.

by Patch O'Furr

The biggest furry art site FurAffinity is hosting promotion for a neo-nazi mass shooter. Brenton Tarrant shot 100 people in Christchurch, New Zealand in March 2019. Tarrant came from internet radicalizing. He used 8chan to broadcast hate, and is now a far-right extremist hero for copycats around the world. FurAffinity has been closing many reports about it, including mine and others that tipped off this story. Furaffinity’s Code of Conduct (2.7) says: “Do not identify with or promote real hate or terrorist organizations and their ideologies.” They refuse to enforce it.

In Furaffinity’s policy, “organizations” may be a weasel-word to dismiss this as an isolated thing. Treating this as “just art” helps the goal of radicalizing — to worm inside with lying that hate isn’t tied to violence, and violence comes from “lone wolves”. (A goal to provoke, but deny it.)

Single data points make a much bigger chain. When insiders refuse to recognize it or do anything to help, they pass off responsibility to outside sources. This story will be one of those sources, along with FBI docs and current mainstream news that link a fringe of furry fandom to violent hate.

From top left: (1) Furaffinity post promoting the New Zealand shooter. (2) Vice explains hate symbols in it. (3) Furaffinity refuses to enforce their policy.

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Good news! Doggos won’t make you vom-o — and more to know about a zoonotic pandemic.

by Patch O'Furr

Need something wholesome for a time like this?  Investigation found no reason to fear that people might catch COVID-19 from dogs. That’s good for me and my chihuahua child. No more worry about going “aww” for little sneezes!

Plague Bats and Furry Vets

It’s rare for a new disease to jump from one species to another — they’re usually incompatible. But COVID-19 came from zoonotic transmission with no herd immunity or treatment. It’s NOT the common flu. The CDC info page calls it an evolving situation. Brace yourself! Learn key terms that the experts use.

Zoonotic: A virus is considered zoonotic when its origins can be traced to animals. These diseases are known as zoonoses, meaning they are naturally transmissible from vertebrate animals to humans. It’s believed the virus that causes COVID-19 may have originated in bats and spread through a number of species before it was contracted by humans.

I reached out to veterinarian furries for professional comments or a message to the fandom. Zarafa Giraffe works as fill-in staff at many vet clinics. He says:

Obviously, the Covid19 pandemic, and the social distancing it requires, has been devastating to the conventions and furmeets we love so well. The good news is that as far as we know, your dogs and cats are safe, and cannot transfer infection to you. Veterinary clinics are considered essential services, and will continue to operate. Even here in the San Francisco Bay Area, which currently has the strictest social distancing requirements in the US, you’re allowed to go to your local veterinary clinic. If your dog or cat needs medical attention, contact your local veterinarian.

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Furries For Bernie talk about their support for the US presidential candidate.

by Patch O'Furr

Join Bernie Sander’s Furs on Telegram.

How we got covered by KQED in A Secret Weapon of the Progressive Left: Furries by Nastia Voynovskaya.

There was no time for breakfast. It would take a miracle to find parking for the Bernie Sanders rally in Richmond CA. We were nearby and already together after a dance party the night before. Now we could see him speak with 11,000 supporters.

Candy, BerryPecanTart and Lux rode with me. Wild Child and Zahi were there, and Apollo Wolfdog, who we didn’t know, made contact from seeing us in the crowd. We were a litter worth of furries in the blocks long line to get in while Bernie’s motorcade passed 10 feet away. The blazing sun and fursuit photos weren’t as big as a wave from the man himself.

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FBI Ties Nazifurs to Atomwaffen Division — Attacks Targeted US Gov Official, Journalists

by Patch O'Furr

New FBI arrests are putting the heat on Atomwaffen Division. They’re a group with a dream: White supremacy through violent terrorism.

This is the “but not that!” clause you always get from free-speech defenders. Supposedly, neo-nazis just hold opinions you should tolerate, but you never get a good reason why. In truth, if you leave them alone they WILL hurt people. This group is tied to 5 murders.

Now add hundreds of swatting incidents, as announced by the FBI. “Swatting” is a terror tactic of falsely reporting a crisis to send a SWAT team crashing through a victim’s door. It gets people shot by mistake. Their international conspiracy targeted a US Cabinet official under Secret Service protection, journalists who reported about hate groups, and a vape shop. They did it for power, revenge, and a day off from school. (Really).

Doing terrorism to avoid homework sounds like the plot of a whole comedy movie about racist boneheads. For now, laugh at the dopes with me, a cartoon dog.

They’re more evil than geniuses, but they know furries reject nazis. They know tough guys fear being yiffed into oblivion with a Furry Apocalypse. They’re the type raised on easily-abused tech platforms with a mix of moldy old bigotry, ironic memes, and anime. Of course they know nazifurs. FBI evidence confirms it.

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The Worst Year Ever gives the best look ever at furry antifascists; Furries rally for Bernie

by Patch O'Furr

The 2020 American election year has a high-stakes power struggle. But The Worst Year Ever podcast isn’t just staying in the studio to report about it. They’re going out in real life to visit as many different groups as possible and show solidarity. They even got up close and personal with furries!

This must-hear podcast comes from Robert, Katy, and Cody (who also do Some More News, Behind The Bastards and more, with over 340,000 Twitter followers lumped together.) They make top quality media backed by research, wit, and dedication to truth. That’s how the fandom was introduced here.

Until now, outsiders have seen glimpses of a furry fandom struggle with far-right groups. It ties to happenings around the country. But few have gone all the way down our rabbithole to learn unique background that no mainstream media has covered. I had never heard some of this.

How The Furries Fought The Nazis and Won — by The Worst Year Ever

  • Part 1 — A look at the background of nazifurs and the Midwest Furfest 2014 chemical attack. (47 minutes)
  • Part 2 — Fandom responses, a big shoutout to Dogpatch Press at 4:00, and a visit to MFF 2019. (36 minutes)

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Hindsight is 2020 — Top 20 furry news stories of last year (Part 2)

by Patch O'Furr

Yesterday was Part 1 of a list for articles at Dogpatch Press. These stories aren’t just from 2019. There’s some older ones that had revived or ongoing interest in the year. They’re not ordered by most viewed on top (some of them are deeper dives into brief/specific stories) — but these were the top 20 listed in a way that makes a snapshot of a subculture.

11. Mainstream crossover. Margaret Cho barks about furries, pride, and costuming on The Masked Singer.

This is right on the line drawn by queer/weird power that keeps furry fandom independent. Here’s one of the bigger names in mainstream entertainment who has openly mingled with furries. She takes pride in supporting misfits, was Grand Marshall of a pride parade, and was in The Masked Singer as a singing robot poodle. This article with her drew mainstream news to ask for furry opinions of the show. Expect more because the Australian edition has costumes built by furry makers, and the UK edition had fursuits in a sponsor’s ad.

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Hindsight is 2020 — Top 20 furry news stories of last year (Part 1)

by Patch O'Furr

My chihuahua was amazed when I sneezed and fireworks exploded over the city. She stopped shaking and did a head tilt, like “did you do that?”

It was New Year’s Eve, and catching a plague kept me from going out. But pets like attention when there’s scary noise, and it made time to write.

This list is for articles at Dogpatch Press. That’s not the only way to get furry news, but how easy is it to get? Trust 1132 published articles here. It takes tons of work that few will do. Or ask those who start new sites, because great intentions often only last a few weeks. (RIP Good Fur News, Jan-Feb 2019).

This site has 6 years in service because it’s about DIY power, like a little sneeze really has power to make fireworks. It starts with one fan, but it needs everyone who sends tips, support, or guest writing, and makes art and events. That’s why 2020’s plans include supporting Moonraiser’s furry blog, a regular guest roundup of furry comics, and too many projects to ever finish (the site has hundreds on file).

These stories aren’t just from 2019. There’s some older ones that had revived or ongoing interest in the year. They’re not ordered by most viewed on top (some of them are deeper dives into brief/specific stories) — but these were the top 20 listed in a way that makes a snapshot of a subculture.

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A Tale of Two Kickstarter Campaigns, and the Selling of Identity by Artworktee

by Patch O'Furr

Is your identity a stretch goal?

On Flayrah, Sonious wrote two articles about Artworktee, a popular furry t-shirt company with many happy customers. In May 2019, he wrote a positive story about their charity benefit campaign. Now in November 2019, a shirt selling campaign is not so positively covered. The difference — no charity this time.

After being asked to write, Sonious felt conflicted about giving them “blatant advertisement” as news. It could have been turned down, but wait; there’s more. He found reasons to criticize their campaign launched on October 22: “Furry and Proud Shirts! Show your furry pride with ArtworkTee’s new line of LGBT+ shirts!” On Kickstarter as I write, it has 396 backers pledging $24,758 — likely in the top few percent of furry crowdfunding.

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Underrated furry news sources

by Patch O'Furr

So, you want to know what’s up in furry news. There’s that site from the dog with holographic pants, but it’s blabbing about obscure art movies and being too sexy to handle. There’s that site that smells like carrots, but their comment section is toxic waste. Maybe there’s a more respectable site ready to grow. Hmm… nothing but a merchandising front here, and a spam blog there… why hasn’t this need been solved yet?

Writers have lives, and fandom won’t pay for 1/10th of the cost for ones willing to slave over a hot keyboard all day. Social media can make reach, but has negatives like users who bite the hand that feeds. If you find anything decent, it’s like a gift given despite the costs. You won’t find it for sale in the mainstream.

When it’s a labor of love, think of this oxymoron: “unbiased fandom.” That’s self contradicting, and it’s possible there will never be a news source for furries that isn’t run by some agenda (personal passion is a fine agenda). Don’t hunt for a unicorn, just go find the ones that do it well. There’s stakes too. When “sensational media” is blamed for image problems, the solution is “Be The Media”. That’s how fandom works, so be a fan for the little ones with potential.

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Furbuy goes offline, fandom organization issues, and a need for constructive criticism.

by Patch O'Furr

Flayrah covers a tech problem with a longstanding fandom auction site: FurBuy down for ‘months’ after spat with security researcher.

Furbuy says they’ll be back with a completely new site. The old one relied on software mostly written in 1999, offering a service that drew some complaints for security problems or less-than-modern functionality, complicated by some conflict with a site owner about expected handling of complaints.

Furbuy also offered a valuable free service, accommodating fandom high points like record auction prices for creators without taking a cut like nonfandom markets. (It earned some donations, but not as much as it cost to run). With a hobby/not-for-profit project, accommodating demands might not always be fast or easy or welcome to the providers. Still, security issues can’t be dismissed and complaints can come with feelings about less-than-professional standards.

Sound familiar? Like every complaint ever about management of Furaffinity, the biggest fandom art site.

I think it’s a structural thing. It comes with the benefit of a decentralized fandom, where most commerce is self-owned and fan-to-fan without middlemen, with DIY-ness for love as much as money. Making a living that way is rare, and rarely enriching, and it makes limited resources to do better. Professional service is a must in many ways but “pro-fan” can be an oxymoron. It’s a furry paradox.

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