It was one of those strange coincidences that makes one think that, if there were a god, he must have a strange sense of humour. Salman Rushdie, who was the target of a 1989 fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini that called for his death due to his novel The Satanic Verses and who lost sight in one of his eyes after being stabbed on stage in the US last year, warned that never in his lifetime had freedom of expression been under such a threat in the West. Less than a week later, Fur Affinity announced a new rule banning adult artwork of characters with childlike proportions, later calling out specific pokémon and digimon. I have already written about the importance of free speech for the furry fandom, so here I would like to discuss how increasing authoritarianism is restricting free expression and a simple way to help safeguard it.
Fur Affinity expands rules against "youthful appearing" characters in adult works to Pokemon and Digimon charactersPosted by Sonious on Mon 22 May 2023 - 10:34
On May 19th Fur Affinity had announced that it will expand the rules toward banning portrayals of youthful appearing characters, even if the character is addressed as being older in universe, engaging in sexual situations to include digimon and pokemon characters. While situations that portrayed actual young anthro characters in sex (known colloquially as cub porn) had been banned 13 years ago, there were elements of gray area on characters that are determined as mature in age, but younger in appearance that were later expanded upon. This update is a furthering of that expansion.
In the announcement Fur Affinity had noted that there is a method for artists who have posted works that may be in this gray area to discover how they would be handled by submitting trouble tickets against it.
If you have questions as to whether this may apply to your content, please feel free to open a ticket under “NSFW Underage Content” with links to the content in question, and we can verify if the content is in violation or not.
Artists have been informed that the amendment will start to be enforced on July 1st.
Furries help push fundraising for Mississippi library after a mayor withheld funding in blackmail attempt to censor booksPosted by Sonious on Thu 3 Feb 2022 - 12:33
Gene McGee, the mayor of Ridgeland, a northern suburb of the capital city of Jackson, withheld $110,000 from the Madison County Library System. According to the Mississippi Free Press, the executive indicated he would not release the allocated dollars until the library agreed to purge any “homosexual materials”.
The release of this news had set one particular furry into activist mode. Soatok Dhole, a non-fiction furry writer who covers issues around the fandom, social media, and technology, started a thread on his Twitter account pushing for help from the furry fandom to help bridge the gap in the library’s funding. In it he linked to the library’s fundraiser whose goal was initially a modest $2,500, but has since extended multiple times due to reaching that threshold and beyond.
Tennessee school bans 'Maus', graphic novel involving holocaust history, from school for "language and nudity"Posted by Sonious on Thu 27 Jan 2022 - 17:48
When we discuss adult themes such as a government committing mass murder of its population, authors need to be wary not to say “God Damn” or have an unclothed character if they wish to reach a high school audience. These two items were front and center for the unanimous decision of a McMinn County school board as it barred the Pultzer winning graphic novel of Maus from its district curriculum. Maus is a graphic novel utilizing animal allegory to give a historical account of the holocaust.
The TN Holler has a full article of each of the board’s words on the removal of the book from the school. Many on social media are concerned that this is part of a trend of washing away the sins of authority by those that hold it. Though, given humanity’s inability to resist taking a bite of what is deemed as forbidden knowledge, banning the book within the classroom may rile the interest of rebellious teens to learn more about this banned literature outside the classroom.
A new furry social media site has come forth called FurryLife Online. It seems it’s an annual occurrence these days when a new furry site comes forth with dreams of taking the title of the main furry hub.
FLO is trying to be as broad as its predecessors; and with art galleries, written works, music, clubs, and streaming, there appears to be a lot to offer. But given how many of these sites exist now, can this new one stand out? If so, how? We’ll review the site’s layout and its strengths and weaknesses for each of the main classes of art they support.
This review was published September 2 and is written about the site at this time. Site features are malleable, so may have changed after publication.
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.)