Last week, a Neswbyte was posted linking to an opinion article by Perri Rhodes on a site named Furry Times, covering the controversial Furry Raiders. It ended with with the following indictment of Flayrah from Ahmar Wolf:
It has always been a policy of mine no matter who you are, and if you have something to say and I would say Perri Rhoades, (who did an excellent job). That you should be allowed to speak, that no one has the right to shut you down…period. Like some tried to do on Flayrah.
Ahmar may have been referring to those who disagree with Perri using our comment karma system to rate down her scores of comments. No one on Flayrah staff had censored Perri. In fact people can still comment there if they wish, including Perri. However, in a fit of irony, Furry Times closed comments on their article which had shamed other sites of censorship.
Let’s take a look at why a site preaching for free speech cut the conversation short on their own controversial article.
E-commerce service PayPal has started a campaign to stop independent e-book publishers from including certain kinds of erotic content in their catalogs, should they be using PayPal to conduct business.
On Saturday February 18, PayPal began threatening to deactivate the accounts of indie book publishers and distributors, if they did not remove books containing certain sexual material – including themes and implied scenarios of: incest, pseudo-incest (including "daddy" fantasies, step-family), fantasies about non-consensual sex or rape, bestiality (widened to include non-human fantasy creatures), and BDSM.
The ban on "non-human fantasy creatures" has prompted some internet commentators to wonder where this leaves publishers of furry erotica, with Bernard Doove's chakats given as an example of what is banned under the new rules.
Right now we have to make a choice. Do we continue on with cub artwork and protect the artwork in the name of freedom of speech? Or do we remove the one Achilles heel that has proven itself to be a liability and a frustration?
If we want to keep Fur Affinity alive we have no choice but to remove cub art.
Artists have 21 days before administrators begin removing such content from their accounts. Non-adult artwork will not be affected, nor will "chibi", "cutsey", or "stylized" characters.
Site administrator Dragoneer noted that no artist will be punished for the presence of existing artwork, and warned that harassment of artists will result in a three-month ban. Both Dragoneer and Pinkuh recommended SoFurry and Inkbunny as alternative hosts.
First and foremost, Fur Affinity was always intended to be an art site […] Unfortunately, that was never emphasized and certain aspects became… too casual.
The change raising the most debate was to ban human and proto-human minors in mature situations, based on UK, Canadian and Australian law. The site's definition covers elves, dwarves and "neko-style characters" — humans with non-human ears, tails or paws.
Other altered policies restrict keyword abuse, unoriginal or underdressed photography, most second Life screenshots, hard-to-see images and unoriginal photo edits and memes. The definition of flooding has changed and a restriction on comics using generated art has been introduced.
Nominations have begun for the 2009 Ursa Major Awards, furry fandom's popular award for excellence in published works. But new rules intended to safeguard the reputation of the Awards and its sponsoring events will exclude works which won nomination in previous years.
While nominees and winners will still be chosen by popular vote, the Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association intends to block material they deem "obscene, libelous, or otherwise detrimental to the integrity and good standing of the Ursa Major Awards and the anthropomorphics fandom."
Their definition includes "works of a predominantly sexual nature, or which include explicit sexual situations involving characters which may be underage or non-anthropomorphic animals."
For those of you who follow world-wide internet policies, China's list of banned websites continue to grow, actively filtered out by what's colorfully coming to be called 'The Great Firewall of China'.
Out of curiosity, I began testing which websites are banned.
And the first one I entered to see reported inaccessible? Furnation.
Incredulous, I ran the test again, and a few more times. 1 successful attempt to reach it, out of 20. It leads to curious speculation; is it something as simply benign as a router misconfiguration? Perhaps a few servers along the way had conked out? Maybe Slashdot having linked the testing server has resulted in a sudden drop of reliability of the testing method?
Or maybe the mainland Chinese are afraid of teh cultural revolution that some ears and tails might unleash. (He typed firmly tongue-in-cheek.)