Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Tag: hate groups

The “New Paws” Hoax: How alt-right trolls piled on a disabled man to boost their failing careers.

by Patch O'Furr

A shocking accident.

In 2015 I met a furry who joined furmeets I organize in Northern California. He’s bright, enthusiastic and fun to host. It was a shock when he posted on Facebook about suffering an accident. There were graphic medical photos of extreme frostbite caused by dry ice.

Welp, I’m in the hospital with a life changing situation. It was my own damn fault. Been pushing myself so hard for so long, sleep deprived, pushing myself with arthritis in my wrists. Basically I fell asleep while icing my wrists last night. Woke up 6 hours later, hands were frozen. Went to the hospital, they care flighted me to a burn center in California. It was too late, damage had been done, it’s resulting in a bilateral hand amputation so things are about to get very interesting in my life. I’m doing ok, remaining optimistic. Honestly I’m anxious to get it over with and move on with my life.

To help with costs of hand amputations, one of his co-workers started a crowdfund. I shared it on Twitter, and added a light-hearted comment about helping him to get “new paws” with an article I wrote 6 years ago: Scaly, feathery alternative limbs leap the uncanny valley into the future of prosthetic design (2013). It was about improving the lives of amputees. Instead of hiding prosthetics, they can be featured, like transforming scars with cool tattoos.

I commented about “new paws” before I saw anyone else say it. The crowdfund was his co-workers idea. Those ideas didn’t come from him.

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Story of a Former Alt-Furry: Clouded by Clout

by Dogpatch Press Staff

This guest post was submitted for anonymous posting on the guest’s behalf. That’s a community access service offered by this site. The story gives details about hate groups that can help readers with similar experience know it’s true, and can put the poster at risk of backlash. Part of such stories that often goes unspoken is the extreme abuse that such posts attract. That’s why it’s important to offer community access service, even for some stories that may have scary information that may be impossible to tell openly.

Sadly, abuse often comes from people who claim to be allies, as well as from enemies — and in cases targeting this site, they often fall for lying and baiting from bad faith sources. The knee-jerk reactions come from acting tribalist and putting agreement above finding out what’s going on. It may gain clout for the group but make you less informed.

“Perhaps we need to spend slightly less time asking whether we agree with, or approve of, a text, a piece, an experience, and ask what it does; or, better yet, what it might do? There is a power in simply asking “hmm, what’s going on here?” – @L0v3byt3

If you find the post valuable, be aware of abuse that comes with hosting it, not to gain clout that others fight for, but just to offer the service (since 2014). Of course nobody owes debate or an audience for bad faith and it’s fair to simply block it, but the post also describes how hate groups can be reinforced by attacking them – and a different solution.

To learn more about how hate groups seek to get attacked for publicity, check out the Behind The Bastards podcast about George Lincoln Rockwell, the American pioneer of those manipulative tactics. – Patch

Hate groups prey on loneliness.

I want to preface this by saying that I understand if you do not want to listen to the words of someone who used to be part of something horrible. What I have brought on myself and my reputation is nobody’s fault but my own and saying sorry after the fact may seem like an afterthought or a way to staunch the bleeding. What I am offering you is an insight into how these insidious groups like Alt-Furry work from an insider’s perspective, and how to avoid them if you feel unsure of yourself, or help others avoid falling into the same trap.

Since the beginning of human history, when we banded together in tribal groups, feeling like you belonged offered you a sense of safety. If you didn’t have the charisma or the skills to start your own group, you joined one, or tried. A sense of community makes you feel useful. It makes you feel like people need you around. Sometimes, this is so intoxicating, especially to people who have been alone for quite some time, that you overlook things that others in your group do.

After all, they are your friends, right? It’s okay for people to be imperfect. If you point out that what they are doing is wrong, they won’t want to be your friends anymore. You will have to be alone and afraid again. Unfortunately, this feeling of fear is sometimes what drives us to turn a blind eye to things that hurt the people around us. It just gives you company when the ship begins to sink. Anything is better than dying alone, even dying together.

Taking advantage of this feeling is the core of how many hateful groups operate, and Alt-Furry is no exception. By convincing you that others hate you, and are always out to get you, they separate you from the world and trap you into a bubble. This is not to say that they are master hypnotists or that they force people to act the way they do. Instead, they are master manipulators, and nudge people who are vulnerable emotionally into doing the wrong thing. They convince you that they are your friends not because they like you specifically, but because everyone else -hates you-, and so they are the only friends you will ever make.

You have every chance in the world to walk away, but they convince you that doing so will only make you alone again. This is how they got me.

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Furries vs. Evil: Habits in geek social spaces

by Patch O'Furr

This was written as introduction for a planned series. I edited it to stand alone in response to recent events of bad things being exposed. Expect to see it reposted in the future to fit a series. It’s kind of a thinkpiece to provoke open ended conversation. Let’s start with a weird question… (- Patch)

Q: How are furries like Catholic Nuns? 

Aside from silly headgear or being anthropomorphic penguins… this isn’t about being moralistic, but it involves contrasting black-and-white appearances.

Do nuns make you think nice thoughts about The Sound of Music or Mother Teresa, with harmless ladies playing guitar and taking care of orphans?

For a huge contrast, now think of scandals with abusive priests, where churches shift them from diocese to diocese to cover it up. It’s easy to assume nuns don’t do abuse like that. Until news comes out that they do, but the church hasn’t been accountable. This news may be loaded with a certain counterintuitiveness that increases the WTF factor. But in both cases, it’s dishonest to blame individuals for an institutional problem.

Furry fandom is made of loose federations of groups. Almost all of them are super positive and friendly and it would be gross exaggeration to suggest an institutional problem like above. It’s not a church with a pope. At worst, dramatic stories like a ring of abuse in Pennsylvania was limited to personal friendships that didn’t go as far as alleged. (Lupinefox, who was accused of hosting it at his house, was found not guilty on all charges in court.)

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Altfurries caught buying fake accounts and doing organized harassment.

by Patch O'Furr

Content warning: hate speech

Meet Sam, a racist troll.

In early 2018, Atlantic City Fur Con, a party and proposed con, had a harassment problem in their chat group. (The organizer has made effort to fix it since then.)

A black member of the group respectfully asked for better behavior.  The quality had fallen from edgy jokes to an all-time low of lazy racism. In retaliation, a cluster of harassers (altfurries and neo-nazis) ganged up to escalate the hate. Apparently one simple request to act grown-up was an “SJW” menace that needed to be aggressively crushed. Some drizzled their profiles with swastikas to compensate for failing so hard at kindergarten-level getting along with others.

One of the worst offenders was Sam/@slizzzler/”Fang” (@jasonafexFa, a fake Telegram account with Jason’s name that Sam uses.)

They did it with confidence that everyone would be their doormats, and didn’t expect to get caught acting like pigs with a news article about it. When it began to come out, Sam threatened me to try stopping publication (as if that wouldn’t get published, or screenshots of someone’s own misbehavior is “slander” somehow.) Then they retaliated used a doxing blog and a fake Telegram account for @midwestfurfest. Sam later claimed responsibility in the altfurry chat, using the “Fang”/@jasonafexFA fake Telegram account. It was part of a pattern of harassment with fake accounts you’ll see below. Here’s Sam/Fang:

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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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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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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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How I Ended Up in the Alt-Lite, and How I Got Out

by Patch O'Furr

From wikipedia:

The alt-right, or alternative right, is a loosely-connected grouping of white supremacists, neo-Confederates, neo-Nazis, neo-fascists, and other far-right fringe hate groups.

The “alt-lite” is frequently contrasted with and compared to the political alt-right, with which it shares some features, but the alt-lite remains distinct from the alt-right in that it claims to reject identity politics—including the white nationalism and racialism of the alt-right—though they share other key features and beliefs.

Learn more from the Anti-Defamation League – From Alt Right to Alt Lite: Naming the Hate.

Below is a guest story sent in by an unnamed furry, shared for awareness about how hate groups gain influence in a subculture like furry fandom.

– Patch

A springboard into the alt-right.

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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 responses – Part 3.

by Patch O'Furr

A trial run for a convention had a behavior issue. Part 1 looked at what happened and Part 2 had sources and issues. Before publishing there was a request for comments from the organizer, then others responded. Keep in mind that some of them responded before chat screens were published and seen.

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