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To interview or not to interview; publish or not to publish

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Furry Youtuber Majira Strawberry and Youtuber YourMovieSucks(YMS), at a combined total of around one million subscribers, had announced that they had planned on accepting a guest spot on a podcast with the Youtuber h3h3 Productions, who sits at 6.23 million. Since its announcement there had been very passionate discussions amongst fur fans on whether this is something that should even be considered. As reasons they should decline critics brought up some of h3h3’s other guests, support of controversial figures, and particular jokes that were received as having transphobic connotations— apparently while h3h3 was actually trying to make a joke at his own expense about his body weight, which seems to be a running gag for his personal feed.

At first Majira stayed stead fast with his commitment to join the podcast. However, as time went on and more fervent messages were received from individuals within the furry community, the strawberry fox eventually relented and backed out of doing the interview.

This event has driven a stark divide in the furry community, with Furry Youtubers and other content creators getting frustrated about having their peer in the crossfire, while others claiming that Majira had adverted what would have been a disaster for himself and the fandom, believing h3h3 to have ill-intentions.

The history of furries and media

Furry’s clamping down on those furs who go to extra-fandom platforms to discuss furry is nothing new. It’s just rare to have it get to this high profile of a figure. This phenomenon is a bit of residual from the late 90s where everyone in the media was looking to sensationalize furries. Okay, that’s a stereotype, mostly everyone in the media.

As a result leaders within the fandom took a stance with fans to treat those in the media like drugs pushers and “just say no”. I’m willing to put money down that someone wrote pieces of hard skepticism about those that had allowed filming for the recently well-received Lisa Ling episode and that the episode was going to do something a bit more nefarious. Don’t know who’d ever do a thing like that.

The furry fandom pressuring other furs not to go onto programs has been happening for over a decade at this point. While those in power would use panels to try and educate people on how to interact with the press should they need to, there was a sort of sense of that you really shouldn’t at all unless you want to end up as a bad example story in those panels. So either you deal with that animosity and go on anyway, reject those opportunities outright, or just forward them onto Samuel Ka— I mean those who put themselves into the position of being a media liaison.

Or you could do the strangest thing and work toward becoming a mixture of furry and press yourself. But don’t do that, it’s weird.

But back on topic, the relationship with media and the fandom is like that of an abusive one, only at a more cultural level. And there are insidious parts of an abusive relationship that can also lead to self harm, including those with the media and furries. It gets tough to distinguish when a person is really changing or if they are just trying to lure you in with a false sense of security. And it’s not just furs that deal with these kind of internal political clashes on whether to expose ourselves to others that could mean harm.

Extra-Fandom examples of ‘Community Abuse Syndrome’

I think the best way to describe this phenomenon is to create a new definition for it since it does not seem to have one. So Community Abuse Syndrome is a noun that describes the phenomenon caused when individuals in a community are abused by another community or society at large which creates a distrust toward those institutions for generations beyond the original abuse.

One prominent example that comes to mind is the relationships that those in the GLBT+ communities have with police officers. Since officers of the law enforced some dehumanizing laws that did harm to these communities in the past and so there continues to be animosity in the present. There are intense debates in the GLBT+ community as to whether they should allow those who are in law enforcement to participate in their pride parades. Those who don’t wish their presence are resentful to the way that officers had abused, on a systemic level, those they love in the past. So in turn want to show, by example, what rejection by those in power feels like. Even if all they really have power over is their parade and gathering.

Others who are younger may be confused by the animosity and be more accepting, until the older ones educate them about the past and why the conflict exists. The Stonewall is why the cops should be stonewalled. At that point the younger generation can take one of two paths. They either reject it and leave the past in the past, viewing the fights of the past as having been performed for the wish of the opportunity now before them. Or they begin to understand that they should not be so quick to fully forgive the transgressions of those groups in hopes that the world understands them and doesn’t forget the struggles of those no longer with us, and to note there are still struggles in the present.

Now before any cops reading the above sentences get on their high horse and say that forgiveness is the way to go and should be easy, I have two words for you: Drug War.

In the light of the passing of legislation legalizing recreational marijuana there has grown a heated debate in the law enforcement community that similarly is tied to the losses and abuses of the past. Those cops who are vehemently angry at the law’s passage probably have a colleague they were close friends with put to rest at the hands of illicit narcotics organizations who used that mostly harmless plant to build their harmful empires. Other cops may be fine with legalization and are happy that they can focus on other “more worthy” crimes. You can see where these two kind of officers are going to come to philosophical blows. It can seem that the later is being dismissive to the former that the officer who died, had died for nothing.

So moving on from the past is never easy, and the balance between vigilance and forgiveness can be a very precarious call. It takes similar forms as abuses on the individual level, but creates the complexity that every individual in the community deals with those abuses in their own ways, and leads to the conflict within that community on how to handle those in the aggressor communities. But, given time and efforts to do things better, the wounds of the past will eventually heal. Thus will happen with furries and the media. But as the examples show, it could take quite awhile, and there may always be a scar.

To interview or not to interview

I had to add a rule to my own Youtube channel of “World in Rooview” where I stated that I would not be doing any interviews. The pattern I observed from other furry Youtubers who have done an interview style show is that the first person invited to speak on the channel set the tone and would limit who else would be willing to talk.

Basically, if you interview a person who holds a particular worldview, then you close the door to anyone with an opposing world view; from not only doing interviews but from consuming any of your content whatsoever. In a strange sense, people in this modern era seem to believe that heinous beliefs are some kind of communicable disease, as soon as you share the room with someone who has it, you’re contagious. So in that case, it’s just not worth the hassle creating such a show that brings on anybody.

On top of this, if people want to go see what someone is all about then they can go to them directly these days instead of relying on a third person to ask questions. In such a world where we have Q&A videos, Ask Me Anythings from Reddit, or even CuriousCat— is the interview even necessary?

Well it could be. I referenced a Kothrix interview with Len Gibert, who is seen as a leader of the Alt-Right furry groups to highlight that Len's words seemed to indicate the purpose of their organization is not to alleviate partisan wounds, but instead to inflate it to fulfill his fantasy of a future of conflict. Which I noted had countered other statements his organization had made that they are opposed to the increasing political divides that they laid to blame at the feet of 'the left'. Boozy Badger noted that when Jon Stewart went on Crossfire, despite believing that it as platform was a disservice to American discourse, went on anyway and gave a performance that was credited for the show’s closure. It should be also noted a similar situation recently where a Dutch historian met with Tucker Carlson and their conversation once again has painted Carlson as someone who bit off more than he planned on chewing, despite him wearing a regular tie this time. History repeats in its own way.

These examples show that while it can be agitating that some individuals are given platforms, an interview that is carefully analyzed or presented can do more good then harm. Even if the individuals in that interview are harmful.

Let's also not forget that it was during an interview that Donald Trump admitted on camera that he fired James Comey because he was investigating Russian collusion. Which will probably be used against him in any future possible obstruction cases. One doesn't have to be a Yoshi to have their own tongue to form a noose around their neck.

To publish or not to publish

When it comes to asking questions and interviews, though, the average person will probably get nervous about asking people they admire questions directly. In those cases they will likely find someone they trust within their social network and then rely on their perspective instead. Since I am aware of this kind of trapping, I typically ask myself some questions when evaluating another’s statements if I need to rely on third-hand information.

  1. How long did the person have relations with the person?
  2. What is the person’s political views and does it lay in opposition or support of the person they are discussing?
  3. Are there other people who are independently (not in same thread) making the same statements about the person? Were they on different dates? This can establish a pattern of behavior.
  4. What is a person’s reputation for seeming to do the due diligence of answering the above questions themselves before making their own statements, if they are a public figure?

As I’ve become an editor of Flayrah I’ve come across people wanting me to share stories that don’t pass the above questions. Those individuals can, and usually do, go to Twitter to make their statements once the story doesn’t make it through editorial processes. Like the interview to Curious Cat situation, it may seem like news organizations have no role, but I think arguments could be made otherwise.

One example had been when an old acquaintance of mine had an issue with a moderator from /f/-list and was being banned from their communities. He stated to me that the site’s leadership is corrupt and it was my job to bring them to justice. In discussions I had tried to establish the above questions. I would ask them, “You are saying there are others who are angry about this moderator, can you provide me their contacts?”, but he never gave me any. As he continued to make claims without providing answers to the question, I found that it was what is called an ‘interpersonal issue’ and it would be corrupt of me to give it a platform just because he knows me. Anyone else having an issue with a moderator would not have that access.

The moderator told him he broke a rule. He vehemently appealed to the moderator directly that what he was doing was not against the rule he was told he was breaking. His appeal was denied. It’s not the press’s job to rule lawyer, but it is their job that people understand how rules have been enforced so they aren’t caught by surprise in the future. Because when a human is told they broke a rule that they didn’t know existed, or don’t understand, some tend to get very perturbed.

In this case my friend was using a dark web streaming service to play videos to his community, which the moderator found in opposition to using the site to share pirated/copyrighted material. The defendant stated the service was legal, but my research provided no evidence that the service’s legality was ever tried in court. It was the first I ever heard of the service, so I’m sure the big media owners of the content may not have either as of yet. So the stance /f/-list is taking is one of self-preservation. The content they serve is controversial enough, if they allow other activities that could possibly run afoul of the law some puritans could use it as the vulnerability to destroy their entire site. It would be wrong for me to say they are wrong for wanting to rule in that way given that circumstance.

I’m guessing that my old friend had felt betrayed that I never published an article supporting them, and that may shape his own political views of the furry news. That the furry news is just used to protect those in power like that ‘corrupt f-list moderator’. However, it is for the best that Flayrah doesn’t publish every time someone has an interpersonal issue and instead wait until there is enough evidence to back up that there is a pattern of corruption. Or state that those in power are making sweeping decisions that could have impacts the community at large. To educate how the rules are enforced so it’s less likely one’s ignorance of the rules doesn’t lead to unnecessary contentions.

Otherwise the same arguments the 'corrupt' individual uses against the person asking us to publish will be used against Flayrah itself. And if they succeed in discrediting the publication then it has less authority should the next time something goes awry. To be more poignant, it’s better to wait until you have enough information on a supposed wrong-doer so they cannot wiggle out of instead of blowing your information load prematurely.

Speaking of which, come on Robert Mueller, stop edging us already and give us some release.


Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (8 votes)

From what I saw on Twitter, the part that I found the most worrying was not that Majira had done something "wrong" or even that he was accused of having the "wrong" views but that he was going to talk to the "wrong" people. It's not enough to be a good person but now one must also only engage with the right people. It's tiresome to talk about polarisation ad nauseum but it seems like there is less and less opportunity for any difference of opinion. Deviations from the party line must be punished.

I don't think this had anything to do with a fear of the media but a pathological aversion to any sort of engagement with people who hold different beliefs.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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I read all of this and I am sadly here to advise you that you are wrong.
This is just another case of a person being fucked off by the furry fandom.
As usual, the few fornicators mess it up for the rest of them.

As for being a good person(TM) its rather rich coming from you. But then again nothing surprises me at all when your lips start flapping dear old FireDog.

You have a serious aversion to anyone who diverges from your "beliefs" even in the slightest. I don't need to cite an example here as most of you, I should hope, have 1/2 a brain to go see where this happens.

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The audience that H3 had cultivated was one that tolerated bigoted jokes and commentary. I can see it being a problem.

The example of Tucker Carlson is one of an interviewer who was unable to control the content - or the interview. But that is not the situation of a Youtuber. It’s very unlikely for a Youtuber to have someone else on set record their bad behavior and also post it - or have someone else controlling the live editing floor ala crossfire.

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (8 votes)

The furry fandom, like a lot of subcultures, can be pretty toxic and cultish. And ironically, this demand that all of us as a group break off all contact with people whose views we find repugnant and problematic is actually a demonstration of that. That we can revoke someone's furry card is another. That we think we get to say "alt-furries aren't real furries", aka No True Scotsman is where you see the most recent/relevant example, but there's been others in the past.

There could be plenty of personal and professional reasons not to go on H3 that are perfectly legit. Frankly, it's not a very good channel. Yeah, I found it entertaining, even somewhat cathartic when they went after ridiculously easy targets like Logan Paul. And hey, I might have it in for him just because he seems just a little too comfortable having a predominantly underage audience exposed to his form of "humor" while also happening to bear a striking resemblance to Jimmy Savile (translation: my gut tells me Logan Paul is dangerous to children on possibly more than one level and so I truly don't give a fuck how personal and banal any takedown of him is) but I felt like after watching about ten or so of their videos, I'd seen 'em all. It always seemed like they were either trying too hard or not trying at all and only ever hit that sweet spot in the middle when it's easy and, well, that's too easy. So it's hard to respect that.

But it seems like what happened here was someone made a personal choice which was well within their rights, only to change their mind because of peer pressure and not because they really looked into it or themselves and said "yeah, on second thought, these guys aren't worth my time or effort because if they can't create good content on their own they shouldn't be relying on someone like me to fill the gap". I mean, both within the fandom and in life in general, I think we've all had at least a few of those friends or family members or romantic partners who refuse to let us be our own person and still get to be their friend, when you KNOW nothing about your personal choices impedes their ability to live their own lives as they see fit (aside from the part of their life that is owning you and co-opting yours, of course).

I can obviously understand the community wanting a certain degree of respect but I think it often vastly overestimates how much respect a community deserves by virtue of merely existing, underestimates the real work and personal growth that respectability requires, and shows very poor insight into its double-standards and biases. The crux of the argument between furries and the rest of the world for as long as I've been watching has boiled down to this: mainstream society has this (bullshit) philosophy that we're not supposed to judge people whose differences are beyond a reasonable level of their control but get to treat all differences borne of "personal choice" as fair game. It was used to rationalize homophobia and transphobia for the longest time, was it not? So where the hell to we get off disowning "our own" (as if we literally own each other) for having the nerve to simply TALK TO PEOPLE we dislike?

Did a ridiculously high percent of furries come from embarrassingly small towns or something, or was it just me? Because that's pretty much how we act and part of what makes me ashamed to be from one. And I know for a fact that I only ever needed the internet to escape or at least detach from the sheer hell that is living in one of these places. If not for that I probably would've been content to just draw and write for myself without needing an outlet in other people over the internet. But we're the same kind of people who would deny ourselves some much needed exposure to the outside world via the media for FEAR of what "folks back home" would think. It's fucking COWARDICE and I can't respect that.

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (7 votes)

Judging by some things... when are people gonna realize that this "fandom" isn't supposed to be political, "government" and/or "social control".
I mean god, no matter what, there are gonna be different types of furries in it. Nobody can control that, and no one has a right to put "official" labels on anyone in it.

And if anyone acts bad in a furry fandom, it just means a human being within main world society has acted bad. There is nothing special about it just because one is in the furry fandom and even then, that person is still part of the "community" no matter how much ass hat up tight furries hate, and honestly, treating it like it is special gives me those nasty vibes mentioned in my first paragraph.
I've seen a lot of this in the past, and it's HORRIBLE. Just stop already (to anyone doing that).

Also by the way, there isn't anything special about this fandom itself. It's filled with people who hate and intolerance, I've seen this happen to those who prefer sex, those who likes certain movies, those just because they aren't perfect in the past, and even if someone even makes a mistake 15+ years ago, this disgusting fandom likely exposes certain people for things no longer part of the person's life today which only harms likely. It's not much different than how most of society acts.

It's OK to like most anthropomorphic characters... but why the f**k do people try to take it way beyond that to the point of dictation? I assume it's usually trying to appeal to the majority's main beliefs toward this fandom in this world? Who in their mind would think that was ever alright in the first place?

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (4 votes)

Yeah, what diamond man said

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Excuse me, but what does diamond man mean? Is that some kind of username?

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Oh SHUT UP about it! Dude, you give yourself away EVERY TIME with the unique idiosyncrasies in your writing. "It's filled with people who hate and intolerance". And then trying to be coy in that was dumbasses do that always gives it away, "what does a diamond man mean?" Like, you're so astonished by this accusation, you forgot how to intuit that, OBVIOUSLY it's "some kind of username", as if you only yesterday did hear tell of such a new-fangled contraption, this, er, how you say, USERNAME.

I love how the worst mental midgets in the world always THINK they're so damned clever. CLEVER is being able to ANTICIPATE when your deception will be obvious and correcting your mistakes before you make them. Kinda like DoubleThink, but the kind successful Party members use as opposed to the lower Party members and beaten-down proles whose own Doublethink is backwards and sends them waltzing into the Furry Government's traps instead of avoiding them.

Put another way, I used to have this co-worker/weed dealer who was a legit moron. As in, I think either his mom drank/did dugs, or that he's inbred, or maybe she was just X-rayed without proper protection too many times when she was pregnant and it gave him Hulk Brain without the power to Hulk Smash. And one of the first red flags I noticed about him was the few times he said something like "you're way smarter than me, I mean just listen to the way you talk and the way I talk", and yet he was smart enough to know that, but not smart enough to then think "so this guy probably won't fall for my scams, see through my fake body-language, maybe I should just keep my word and play to his values and not his ego".

It's fitting you use a Rick and Morty avatar sometimes because that's like you, there's thousands of you from different alternate universes and you sometimes look a little different but it's all cosmetic and your underlying personalities are all the same.

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I'm gonna say this to this as honest as I can say,
WHAT THE F*CKING F*CK IS WRONG WITH YOU?! You're ONE of them aren't you (ironically, that was kinda from a Rick and Morty episode, but hey that's a popular show)...

To me, it sounds like diamond man is a cool guy.
Judging by your accusations, I guess "diamond man" is for love and tolerance, likes the multiverse theory, hates the idea of this furry fandom being some kind of government, and hates behaviors like yours. So even if I was him, or even if I was some *gasp* horrible person, nothing really changes anything. This furry fandom ISN'T SPECIAL, but if it was, it would likely have gone down this terrifying route.

Also thanks for further proving my point. *cringes*

Your rating: None Average: 2.4 (5 votes)

Guess I shall comment partly for the purpose of spreading my links in that signature...

"And then trying to be coy in that was dumbasses do that always gives it away, "what does a diamond man mean?" Like, you're so astonished by this accusation, you forgot how to intuit that, OBVIOUSLY it's "some kind of username", as if you only yesterday did hear tell of such a new-fangled contraption, this, er, how you say, USERNAME."

So basically guessing that an OBVIOUS name sounding like a username "proves" a that person being me? And "love and tolerance", so I guess apparently I'm the ONLY person left in the fandom who is for that?

I love how the worst mental midgets in the world always THINK they're so damned clever.

Hey guys, a furry bigotry agenda loving idiot thinks I'm one of the "worst mental midgets"?
Diamond Man believes in love and tolerance, believes rationality is important, and while part of love and tolerance maybe, Diamond Man realizes every person is important and knows that past mistakes doesn't define a person that's changed and that it's wrong to ban someone for something no longer related to the person's life regardless of memory. Oh and he's against ruining people's lives, especially for something that should NEVER be compared to the act of directly harming a child. OH NO!!! BOO HOO!!!! *CRIES* And just to be safe, that was sarcasm.
Just stop policing the fucking fandom already. Honestly you're one of those idiots that tries to RUINS the fandom a lot. I've also seen you attack a person who finds furry as part of an identity, so it's clear that you're one of those types of people.

Oh and also, even if I was "The Furry Government (visitor)", that doesn't change the quality of the comment.

It's fitting you use a Rick and Morty avatar sometimes because that's like you, there's thousands of you from different alternate universes and you sometimes look a little different but it's all cosmetic and your underlying personalities are all the same.

Thanks for saying it fits me kinda. Rick is more intelligent, believes popular people are dumb, and probably is sick of seeing bullshit made up fictional arguments that sometimes comes from your mouth. I'm proud of using that Rick icon.


Now then, let's not continue this drama by filling this fucking article page with THOUSANDS OF legal drama comments all because Wolf-Bone once again, STARTED drama with me.
And also, it's his fault that he commented: It's his own fault for choosing to use a device that can visit this Flayrah site and comment in places like this, it's his own fault for choosing to place that cursor on the comment box, it's his fault for typing, his fault for choosing those sentences, and his fault for posting such comment.

Why I say that? Because apparently a lot of people on here doesn't understand how proper blaming works likely by sometimes blaming other people for the mistake of a different person with no connection to aiding.

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If there's two of you then this is not a fair fight and you should feel bad and withdraw otherwise you're being part of the furry government by subjecting me to the tyranny of the majority. Wolf-Bone believes no one should be judged for identifying as a government, by government, or for government. Furthermore, as a Canadian, Wolf-Bone has a direct line to both the Prime Minister and the Queen and shall furthermore raise this issue in Parliament post-haste. Wolf-Bone is the furry Governor General and doesn't have to take your Imperialist American crap.

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (4 votes)

I don't know if it's me or not, but I feel as if you're comment is further proving that you're trying to make this fandom feel like some kind of government.
If this is some question to the whole "love and tolerance" thing, remember, you can't be for love and tolerance and hate and intolerance at the same time likely.

Also to my last comment to be safe, let's not fill this thread with any fighting comments.

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (4 votes)

Shit's broke y'all.

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Let me put it this way. You know the way Deo is a Communist now? I'm basically like, fuck it, let's just install Ingsoc (English Socialism) in the fandom because furries can't seem to decide between freedom and fascism. So instead, let's have a fascism for freedom. If you want a picture of the future, just imagine a paw gently booping a snoot, FUREVER!

Also, Outer Party members are strongly encourage to buy the new Big Brother Bear. It's double-plush good!

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Big Brother Is Watching.

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Of course it doesn't change the quality of the comment. Jeez you have a meltdown even when people agree with you? Chill lmao

Your rating: None Average: 3 (4 votes)

I don't have any real opinion on any of this shit, but "that diamond man sure does sound like a cool guy" bit was pretty funny.

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Eh is a pretty cool guy! Eh sockpuppet accounts and doesn't afraid of anything!

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I'd have had a lot more respect for Majira if she'd stood up to the pile on bullying tactics and done the interview. Any sheeple that would have stopped supporting her over doing so aren't worth having as supporters in the first place. SJW types who think they can control what others do through intimidation, bullying, and threats are worse than those they claim to be fighting against.

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Him/he I do believe.

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Hori shittu an entertainment show turns into a drama fest. That evil racist misogynistic antisemitic alt right activist Sam Hyde is always behind these things.

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LOL Hori shittu.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (2 votes)

For some reason the comments are broken above, yet in this way that's really selective, like I can say "shit's broke" but not post the paragraph I had, even after changing around a few things. I'm not a programmer by any means but if I was gonna judge the error message at face value, I think it was trying to tell me there's a broken line-break tag that got generated in there somehow.

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H3H3 may or may not had ill intentions for Majira Strawberry. Majira probably asked to review the script and I wouldn't be surprised if they refused. Also the fans were reacting in Majira's best interest even if they were being dramatically over reactive. I'm not naming names so don't worry. I'm just saying that the fans of H3H3 would've destroyed Majira Strawberry by leaking his personal interests and information. The situation would've been really bad, potentially crippling the furry fandom. Thank you for not taking the interview Majira Strawberry, you have saved yourself and the furry fandom.

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