Fur Affinity updates code of conduct to disallow hate groups
On September 4, Fur Affinity released an update to their code of conduct indicating that works or items that promote hate groups will no longer be tolerated on furry's most popular art site. The new rule in the code of conduct (2.7) states:
Do not identify with or promote hate groups and their ideologies
A hate group is one that advocates and practices hatred, hostility, or violence towards members of a designated sector of society (e.g. Nazism, KKK, ISIS). Symbols specifically associated with these groups will not be permitted in user avatars, non-fictional content, or content intended solely to disrupt the community.
Users who identify with or promote hate groups and their ideologies may be permanently banned from Fur Affinity without warning.
The update has already created a stir in furry fandom. Many were pleased with the decision and felt it was a step in the right direction. However individuals within alt-furry used it to launch a particularly harsh attack on Dragoneer with a sock-puppet account named after his recently-deceased cat.
A clear direction, but questions linger on enforcement
Nazism, the Ku Klux Klan, and ISIS have been exclusively named on the site as being hate groups, to which most people can agree qualify. However, there has been criticism on whether the organization known as Antifa should be included in the list. Many in the fandom who identify with Antifa dismiss that as a faux complaint generated as propaganda by white supremacists in order to try and suppress decent to fascism. Others note that political ideology is currently not considered a protected class, and is an act more than a circumstance of birth.
But even setting aside the current debate over the fledgling group of Antifa, of which still most Americans are unsure of (53% as of August 16), there is an important highlight of responsibility that comes with the implementation of this policy. With the possibility of permanent banning based on this new rule it is important that people know when they are promoting a group that is considered a hate group by Fur Affinity, or which groups those are. Using the term "e.g." may not be in the best interest of users, because then it may be possible for certain moderators to make bans based on personal definitions, rather than an outside and objective source on what groups are recognized as hate groups.
Regardless, most agree on the three listed groups, and it's considered a step in the right direction by most users. Furry sites shouldn't be expected to be used to promote materials which inspire others to take action against other based on color, race, creed, gender identity, sexuality, or religion. Time will tell as to how it will be enforced and the details of when things are dealt with or not.
Another important detail to note is that fictional works containing hate groups an element of that work is not targeted by this rule. This caveat will not doubt create a particular grey areas that could lead to confusion on works that qualify as protected fictional work versus what is real promotion of such ideologies. Fursonas, for instance, kind of live in that fluffy middle ground of fantasy and reality. Regardless, users also have until September 18 to remove any items that violate the hate-group rule before it adversely affects their account.
Did you really fucking make a fake account after my dead cat to troll me? What the fuck, dude. Have some god damn standards. https://t.co/pyzrp2IdHH
— Dragoneer (@Dragoneer) September 5, 2017
Dragoneer harassed over new rules
Site community manager Dragoneer was met with a particularly unpleasant response from a furry fan with empathy to the alt-right, who created a Twitter account named after his recently deceased pet cat, Buffy. As of the posting of this article, the account attacked himself and Deo, a favored target of alt-furs; it has since been removed.