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Anthrochat is an IRC network which was founded by Simba in March 2004. As of February 2011, it has seven servers (four in the USA, two in the UK and one in Australia) and an average of about 580-600 connected users. All of the servers listen on ports 6667, 7000, and 7667 for standard IRC client connections and ports 6601 and 6697 for SSL connections. A web-based client is also available.
With the idea of freedom of speech in mind, Anthrochat has a hands-off approach toward managing its users' conduct. Administrators' responsibility is to ensure physical integrity of the network and they are forbidden from using privileged commands in attempting to resolve disputes between users. It is the founders' belief that disagreements are managed with adequate effectiveness at the end user level, using the ample number of tools provided by the users' own mind, the services bots, channel modes, and client and server-side ignore features. In the rare cases where those tools are inadequate, exceptions are made, however in the majority of cases where a "troublemaker" is reported to an admin, the admin will suggest the appropriate user function to remedy the problem. As a result, from Anthrochat's inception, the only lasting, global autokills (bans) set on Anthrochat, to date, have been against mass advertising or drone/flood bots and no real, actual users.
Nickname and channel registrations are open to anyone on a first register, first served basis. Registrations are automated and completed immediately upon utilization of the NickServ and ChanServ
Custom/vanity hostmasks may also be requested through the HostServ
Portions of this section will probably be merged into a separate page detailing the FurNet/Anthrochat split.
Before September 1995, one of the few, on-line meeting places for furries was #Furry on EFNet IRC. Plagued with excessive lag, frequent netsplits that could be used by malicious users to gain channel operator status and cause hours of "healing" time, and any number of problems EFNet was known for back then, a few industrious furries created YiffNet and most of the #Furry regulars moved to the new #Furry on YiffNet.
As YiffNet grew into much more than just a haven for #Furry, Elkay grew frustrated with a number of disputes that arose from new user expectations as well as internal conflicts between the administrative staff. On November 11, 2001, he effectively shutdown the network by killing his IRCd and removing the IRC related entries from the DNS zones. Aetobatus spearheaded the project for picking up the pieces and creating a successor network, called FurNet, by registering its domain name. Hanno Foest (Hurga), who ran the German YiffNet server (panther), joined with Aetobatus and Dario Abatianni (Eisfuchs), and FurNet was born. Most of the #Furry regulars as well as regulars from most other YiffNet channels moved to FurNet and just picked up where they left off.
Prior to its demise, one of YiffNet's servers was hosted by Harik. Harik and Simba both worked for the same ISP and while Harik was ready to throw in the towel when Elkay did, Simba was still interested in providing another server to FurNet. When FurNet started taking new server applications, toward the end of 2002, Simba applied and was accepted.
Another server application had also been submitted by Snowpony and was accepted in March 2003. Shortly after Snowpony and her server were through their probational period, Snowpony began to get directly involved when anyone reported that a user or channel was doing something that they did not like. An example of her involvement was setting a channel (#aryanfurs) as forbidden because its topic contained text that she found to be objectionable. Because Simba did not believe that any text being sent through the network, at user generated pacing (not automated flooding), should ever be censored, he raised a concern whenever Snowpony took administrative action against a user or channel. Very few responses to Simba's concerns came from any of the admins, other than Snowpony - for 9 months.
With each admin following their own code of ethics, a nebulous and unpredictable condition was created for the users. Simba's goal, during those 9 months, was to just get the staff to create and agree on a written policy for FurNet's users and its admins. Due to the lack of comment from most of the rest of the staff and what he perceived as continued micromanagement from Snowpony, Simba grew increasingly frustrated as those months trudged on. He vented his frustration on the admins mailing list in the form of Clark Griswold's rant about his boss in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, verbatim, but directed toward Snowpony.
This transpired the weekend of Further Confusion, a year when Aetobatus was chairman. He and Frysco, another FurNet admin at the time, were both busy with managing the convention and did not have time to adequately focus on IRC administration. They deferred judgment to the rest of the FurNet staff and continued with their convention duties. The rest of the admins, probably separated by cultural boundaries and not recognizing that it was just a quote from a film, assumed Simba had degraded into a verbally abusive lunatic, and finally took action by delinking his server, removing his admin status on the other servers, and removing him from the admin mailing list. It was only then that Simba had any indication from the rest of the admins that their opinions aligned more with Snowpony's than his.
Simba made a telephone call to Aetobatus, after the convention, to get his thoughts on the matters. During that call, it was revealed that he shared some of Simba's opinions on the more hands-off administration approach and agreed that a standardized guideline should have been drafted for the admins. That is when he also indicated that he and Frysco had deferred judgment to the rest of the admins with regards to the delink due to being occupied by convention duties. In addition, Aetobatus indicated that Simba's operator status had not been removed from his IRC server and that he had not planned to remove it.
A short time following Simba's removal from FurNet's administration, Snowpony had increased her direct involvement in channel issues, including, but not limited to, adding herself to the #Furry access list at the highest, non-founder level, then removing Harik and Bobby, two long-standing, high level members. Anyone disputing it or kicking her from the channel received an autokill for "interfering with an IRCOP". Prior to becoming a server administrator, Snowpony had not been a member of #Furry, in any capacity. Because #Furry was essentially the reason for YiffNet's existence, and to an extent but lesser degree, FurNet's existence, these actions were not taken lightly by the channel's members. While this was going on, Simba took a poll, asking #Furry's members if they thought that Snowpony's server should have been the one delinked instead of his. He was met with a unanimous "Yes" response, and in a display to drive the point home as well as create a little humorous mayhem, Simba used his operator status on Aetobatus's server to disconnect Snowpony's server from the network. Not having a way to make it permanent, it re-joined, and Simba spent the next 10 minutes continuing to bounce it back off. After those 10 minutes, Simba simply ceased bouncing the server and then /deoper'd (reversed his operator status and became a normal user). Bouncing the server was met by an overwhelming positive response from the members of #Furry and even some of the other channels, once they had been made aware of what was going on. It was clear that not only was the once "flagship" channel of the network wanting a major change, but there was enough interest from many who had been following the dispute for a change to be made as well.
In the midst of the 9 months of dispute, Simba had also been testing new IRC daemon and services software that he believed would provide additional tools to help the users manage themselves more effectively and alleviate the need for some of the administrator involvement. He had planned to propose the new software to the FurNet staff as a migration path, but due the rest of what had been transpiring, he never got that chance.
Simba put out a call for volunteers to create a new, uncensored IRC network which became known as Anthrochat, using the new software. Anthrochat's Mission Statement is essentially to be an unmoderated, uncensored medium where the IRCops' sole responsibility is to ensure the physical integrity of the network. Censorship, social mores, and personal tastes are relegated to the channel operators of individual channels, and no network-wide enforced decency standards or code of conduct exists.
Among the first channels to make the move to Anthrochat was #Furry, followed shortly by a few others. It also became clear that there had been some dispute to rise within the remaining FurNet staff because Aetobatus made the decision to delink his own server and possibly start yet another network. He considered linking with Anthrochat, but due to a trust issue he had with one of the new Anthrochat server owners, he did not feel that they would be able to work together. After a few hours, he decided to just shut his server down and wash his hands of it. That action raised even more awareness of the issues leading up to it, and several more, well-populated channels moved to Anthrochat.
FurNet continues to enforce common decency standards, which some consider subjective to the views of the IRCops online making them at the time. To this day, feelings about the whole split are somewhat sore, and users typically identify with one network or the other, though some connect to both simultaneously.
Anthrochat presently runs a version of the UnrealIRCD server using Anope services. The change in codebase from what Furnet was using was received so positively, particularly because of the hostmask mangling feature that allows users to hide their full IP address from potential IP-based attacks, that Furnet itself has mimiced Anthrochat's lead by instituting the same IRC daemon and services package.
From the network's founding in 2004 until the end of 2006, Anthrochat's userbase remained at an average of approximately 250-300 connected users. Usage increased over the course of 2007, and by February 2011 there were an average of approximately 600 users connected.
More detailed information that supports the above history, including logs and even admin mailing list correspondence, can be found on Simba's Furnet Situation page.
Anthrochat has also been criticised for its lack of rules. A frequent complaint[who?] is that the network's laissez-faire attitude allows malicious users to abuse IRC features to harass new users, who do not know how to deal with these problems. The inaction on the part of the administrators is perceived as irresponsible by some[who?] Anthrochat regulars, who do not wish to see the network descend into anarchy. A perception held by some[who?] users is that the network has become a haven for internet trolls. Simba's take on "trolls" is that they are just people who have a sense of humor that differs from a more conventional one - similar to the way some comedians single out audience members and pick on them. Not everyone finds this to be funny, but some do. As far as "anarchy" goes, Simba believes that there are adequate tools for self moderation available to all users and that it is quite impossible for the network to "descend into anarchy" as a result.
As an example, #atrium, previously set as the entry channel for the web-based client, is routinely patrolled by users who verbally attack and scold newbies that have just joined. Although the channel is also populated by users who try to help the new players adjust to the unconventional outbursts, it still causes many prospective members to leave the network immediately. Simba nonetheless maintains a no-ban policy on the channel, but has done all that is possible to make it clear that the channel is not moderated - in the topic and on-join message from ChanServ.
More recently, trolls have begun to hijack the nicknames of new users when they quit by registering them with Nickserv. Following this, when those users reconnect, they are disconnected from the network repeatedly by the nickserv 'ghost' command. Administrators' typical response to this is generally suggesting to the affected users that they should just choose another nickname and to register the new one to prevent it from happening again. While this approach aligns with the "provide guidance through problems by educating the users" administrator policy, some users [who?] feel that it is not enough.
 Popular channels
(Click on box to right of column name to sort by that column)
|Channel name||max users (in 2 week period)|
|#FursuitTV||044 (during 2012 February 4 broadcast)|
A real-time, current list of channels, number of members, and their topics can be found on Anthrochat's web site.
 Current staff
- BlueOtter: runs otter.anthrochat.net
- Cheetah: runs cheetah.anthrochat.net
- FidgetFox: runs panda.anthrochat.net
- Kojak: co-admins snowleopard.anthrochat.net
- Mirage: runs snowleopard.anthrochat.net
- Pippin: runs husky.anthrochat.net and bear.anthrochat.net
- Simba: runs lion.anthrochat.net and codes services
- ↑ Log files of the #Furry incident are archived on Simba's server
- ↑ Anthrochat Mission Statement
- ↑ Simba's Furnet Situation Write-up
- ↑ #AnythingGoes, Anthrochat IRC statistics on irc.netsplit.de. Retrieved 2010 February 8.
- ↑ #baycafe, Anthrochat IRC statistics on irc.netsplit.de. Retrieved 2010 February 8.
- ↑ #dirtyanimals, Anthrochat IRC statistics on irc.netsplit.de. Retrieved 2010 February 8.
- ↑ #furry, Anthrochat IRC statistics on irc.netsplit.de. Retrieved 2010 February 8.
- ↑ #furrycoffeeshop, Anthrochat IRC statistics on irc.netsplit.de. Retrieved 2010 February 8.
- ↑ #fursuit, AnthroChat IRC statistics on irc.netsplit.de. Retrieved 2010 June 7.
- ↑ #fursuittv, Anthrochat IRC statistics on irc.netsplit.de. Retrieved 2012 February 6.
- ↑ #Hackerfurs, Anthrochat IRC statistics on irc.netsplit.de. Retrieved 2010 February 8.
- ↑ #Halcyon, Anthrochat IRC statistics on irc.netsplit.de. Retrieved 2010 February 8.
- ↑ #knotcast, Anthrochat IRC statistics on irc.netsplit.de. Retrieved 2010 February 8.
- ↑ #nightfur, Anthrochat IRC statistics on irc.netsplit.de. Retrieved 2010 February 8.
- ↑ #purrfection, Anthrochat IRC statistics on irc.netsplit.de. Retrieved 2012 October 7.
- ↑ #SpandexFurs, Anthrochat IRC statistics on irc.netsplit.de. Retrieved 2010 February 8.
- ↑ #theburrow, Anthrochat IRC statistics on irc.netsplit.de. Retrieved 2010 September 20.
- ↑ #TheDen, Anthrochat IRC statistics on irc.netsplit.de. Retrieved 2010 February 8.
- ↑ #zoofurs, Anthrochat IRC statistics on irc.netsplit.de. Retrieved 2010 February 8.
- ↑ Anthrochat's Channel List
- ↑ Anthrochat Servers webpage (click on server name or look at webpage's "page source")
- ↑ Anthrochat.net page about Pippin. Retrieved 2008 May 4.
- Anthrochat IRC website
- Anthrochat IRC community at LiveJournal
- Local usage statistics
- Anthrochat statistics at irc.netsplit.de
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