History of Fur Affinity
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- 1 History
- 1.1 Server problems (2005)
- 1.2 April Fools Day (2007)
- 1.3 Fur Affinity: United!
- 1.4 Server hack (2007)
- 1.5 Server problems (2008; Augustgate)
- 1.6 April Fools Day (2009)
- 1.7 Server problems (July 2009)/IRC bans
- 1.8 Server problems (November/December 2009)
- 1.9 Server enhancements (2010)
- 1.10 Server hack (2010)
- 1.11 Furocity merger
- 1.12 10.000.000
- 1.13 Zaush
- 1.14 Ursa Major Awards
- 2 Controversy
- 3 References
The following is a history of Fur Affinity and its properties.
Fur Affinity was launched on January 16, 2005, as an alternative to SheezyArt with the forum going live on that date and the main site being transferred a few days later from FurPaws. During that time period, Sheezy abruptly changed policies to both remove adult art and take a stronger stance against users and their uploads. Warnings were supposedly issued from the site's service provider, advising SheezyArt that they were not permitted to host adult content on their site.
Much of Sheezy's community was abandoned after the rules change took effect. This migration left many with few alternatives. Many of those burned by SheezyArt went on to sites such as Fur Affinity and y!Gallery; when the latter decided to ban anthro art in May 2006 to refocus on its core topic, Fur Affinity gained further traffic.
Server problems (2005)
Fur Affinity suffered from major security holes and hacking during the summer of 2005. The site was shut downed on 1 August due to a disagreement between lead coder Jheryn and host provider Arcturus, the primary administrators of the site. At that time Fur Affinity had 12,174 user accounts and nearly 100,000 submissions. Arcturus and his supporters went on to create ArtPlz.
Thanks to the community, Fur Affinity was able to build a stronger, faster server than the site originally used for operation. Over the course of 2005, Fur Affinity raised $1,500 in donations towards the purchase of a new primary server, though it did not go online until the middle of 2006.
Fur Affinity returned to operation in December 2005 with a solid backbone and more efficient coding, though full operational status was not reached until December 10 due to a defect in the motherboard which powered the server. Over 10,000 submissions were made in the first 12 hours subsequent to Fur Affinity's official re-opening, including both art from returning users and pieces not previously posted.
April Fools Day (2007)
On April Fools' Day 2007, the FA banner depicted site mascot Fender as a busty female dragon, with similar coloration's to the original ferrox form and wearing his signature blue tie. The Fender account's avatar displayed the dragoness as well. Fender's appearance returned to normal after about a week, but in May 2007, it was announced that the female dragon form would become a separate character from Fender, and a second mascot for Fur Affinity, named Rednef ("Fender" backwards). Since then, Rednef has appeared on many of the monthly and holiday-based banners, either alone or with Fender.
Fur Affinity: United!
- Main article: FA: United
In August 2007, Fur Affinity held its own furry convention titled Fur Affinity: United! (commonly abbreviated as FA:U), at the Ramada Newark Airport International (now Wyndham Garden Hotel Newark Airport), in Newark, New Jersey. The convention drew 310 attendees, with 25 fursuiters participating in the fursuit parade. The convention was a success and a hit among con goers, so much that another one followed that next year on August 2008, meeting with an equal amount of success.
Server hack (2007)
On 11 August 2007, Dragoneer's administrator account was compromised at FA: United when he used the hotel's unencrypted Wi-Fi connection to access it. The first sign of trouble was a note left on the front page that announced the following:
|Administrator notice: We're sorry, our vaginas are currently full of sand. We're makin' pearls here, folks! :D! FA:U rocks. We all got handjobs from Glaide and Damaratus. -- hacked by jheryn|
Assurances were made that the password database had not been compromised, and the main site came back online 48 hours later. The FA forums were not affected.
Server problems (2008; Augustgate)
On 1 July 2008, Fur Affinity was taken offline again due to a "server hardware fault", to be replaced by an image of Fender angrily stomping his computer followed by a notice about the failure and a link to that forum thread. By 7 July, Fur Affinity's members had donated $16,000-$18,000 to solve the issue, and Dragoneer posted on the FA forums that a new server, a HP ProLiant quad-core Opteron code-named Trogdor had been ordered.
On July 14, the order for Trogdor was canceled due to confirmed issues with the vendor. The final hardware order was:
- Data Server - Dell Poweredge 2970 2U Server, 32GB RAM
- Storage Array - 14 1TB hard drives
- DB Server Upgrades — 24GB additional RAM
- Web Server - Sun Fire x4150 1U Server, 4GB RAM
Fur Affinity resumed operation on August 5, 2008, at 11:30pm (EST), in read-only mode. The site was stable again with all options and features prior to the outage by 9:20am EST the next day. Since the prolonged outage, admins have gone out of their way to assure users that subsequent outages wouldn't be as bad or as lengthy as, it came to be known, "the August incident". 
April Fools Day (2009)
For April Fools' Day 2009, the homepage of Fur Affinity was snowing llamas. In addition to this, two spoof additions joined the randomly displayed mini-advertisements, which featured Rick Astley and Barack Obama. They linked to a Rickroll and the Barack Roll respectively. The banners were made by Hiro Judgement and Alexander Grey, although they were not credited for the work.
Server problems (July 2009)/IRC bans
On 29 July 2009, Fur Affinity suffered a temporary service outage (later found to be due to a power failure caused by lightning). During the confusion, FA forum moderator Carenath accused members of the FurNet IRC channel #hackfurs of causing the outage, resulting in multiple people residing in both #furaffinity and #hackfurs being banned. FA admin Pinkuh is believed to have performed the bans, due to the request notice on Meredith's kick message. Despite an admission that the accusation was mere speculation, Pinkuh did not revoke the bans until the following day. Carenath reported apologized for his remarks later.
Some who questioned the decision were temporarily banned from FurNet by network administrator Snowpony, who cited "trolling and previous conduct." These bans were initially made without a reason, a violation of the FurNet code of conduct; those questioning them also received threats of being banned.
Server problems (November/December 2009)
Fur Affinity experienced an outage starting on 30 November 2009, when the site's ISP experienced technical difficulties due to broken fiber optic cables. By 2 December, the ISP still hadn't responded to FA staff email. The site's Twitter channel noted that staff were to visit the co-location facility later that day to investigate the issue.
Server enhancements (2010)
In March 2010, deviantART-like profile ID images, in which one could post an image as a persistent identification badge (often containing basic information such as a name, date of birth, and likes/dislikes), were enabled for Fur Affinity user profile pages.
On April 17, the embedding of YouTube and other external Adobe Flash-based videos within journal posts was enabled. Embeds of videos are visible within post pages but are rendered as their respective URL text links when one sees the most recent journal post in the profile page.
In October 2010, a feature was introduced, which allows the owner of a submission or journal to hide a comment given in that submission, which is also possible for the owner of the comment. In addition, administrators could hide and unhide every comment posted to any submission site wide.
Server hack (2010)
On December 17, a hacker was able to use a cross-site scripting (XSS) exploit that existed in the trouble ticket system to take control of an administrator account. The site was taken offline while this was fixed, and resumed normal operations a few hours later.
The next day, an administrator's personal email account was compromised, allowing the hacker to request a password reset on Fur Affinity. This time, the site was not taken offline, instead the administrators all had their admin permissions pulled, but not before the hacker was able to wipe a number of user's galleries and download the private notes of several high-profile users.
The forums were also accessed during this time and had the private Admin boards exposed to the public. FurAffinity has reported a total of 41 accounts were accessed. Dragoneer has since then apologized to those who's accounts were accessed and has offered them a free sponsorship-level membership to FA: United.
It should be noted that former FA developer Eevee had mentioned the possibility that a XSS exploit existed in the trouble ticket system a few months earlier, after Eevee had demonstrated that the hide comment feature was insecure and would allow anyone to hide any comment. Critics[who?] said that FurAffinity was well aware that the site code was vulnerable to attacks like the initial XSS exploits for years, but have been slow to fix it.
Over a month later, 7 members of Furocity's staff were officially brought on board without warning the existing staff, some of whom were removed from their administrator positions. New "departments" were created to better serve the users.
Ursa Major Awards
Pornographic cub art
- August 2006 saw the restart of an internal administrative debate over the presence of pornographic underage furry artwork (or "cub art"). Such art was forbidden by the site's Terms of Service, which specified that "depictions of sexually immature characters in any sexual situation are not permitted on Fur Affinity", but bans for this rule were not uniformly enforced. As with previous discussions, administrators could not come to an agreement on whether or not to modify site policy. Over the following months the issue developed into a public debate, with forum polls and discussion suggesting that the site's members were divided on the topic.
- On November 5, it was announced that such work would be allowed, with the requirement of mandatory tagging. The main reasons given for this decision were that no actual minors were harmed during the artwork's creation, and that depictions of many other illegal activities, such as rape, murder, and drug use, were not permitted. Conversely, work that depicted human children, including anime characters, in sexual situations was also forbidden. Non-photorealistic art depicting minors is no longer forbidden (current policy on this point is merely that submissions "shall not violate the law of the United States of America, be it State or Federal.") Some artists[who?] had threatened to leave the site if it was not forbidden, and some of these did so.
- On November 24 2010, Dragoneer officially changed site policy to:
|FA does not permit content containing minors involved in sexual situations. This applies to humans (Loli, Shota) or otherwise human-like characters (i.e. Cub) who are, without question, under the general legal age (18)|
This was due to AlertPay (their funding) dropping them, citing mature cub art as the reason. Artists were given 21 days to clean their galleries, and cub artists were given protection from harassment.
This caused an uproar within the cub community, with several artists[who?] clearing their galleries, and migrating to Sofurry or Inkbunny (although several users and artists[who?] alike saw the cub porn removal as a positive aspect for FA, some of whom even praised Dragoneer for the decision).
It escalated to the point where Dragoneer and other admins received death threats from disgruntled artists. The ban also led furry musical comedy act Drama Armada to record the song "Where Has All The Cub Porn Gone?" (a parody of "Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?" by Paula Cole).
The November 2008 Thanksgiving banner featured pictures of community mascots Rednef and Fender depicted as immensely obese after a turkey meal, to the point of resembling inflation art. Some FA users[who?] complained about the nature of the image as being "tasteless", "disgusting", a "fucking fetish", "shit", etc..., often referencing the fact that the artist's gallery was full of fat fetish pictures.
Counter-arguments against this initial argument, such as "there are fat people in real life", "fat isn't necessarily a fetish", "eating lots is kinda connected with this time of year", "it's just up for a day anyway," had no effect in dissuading the initial users, so after almost a dozen threads with neither the "for" nor "against" sides of the disagreement demonstrating any ability to come to an acceptable decision over the image, FA administrators replaced the image with the initial November Fall themed banner to stem the bad blood running though the archives and forum.
By late Thanksgiving Day, The banner was replaced with plain text reading "FurAffinity.net"; however new threads appeared complaining about the removal of the banner and, a few hours afterwards, it was reinstated and went on to serve its term the rest of the day. After which the November banner was put back in use.
The Thanksgiving 2009 banner was a relatively harmless image of a turkey made to look like Fender being placed into an oven. This banner was still complained about, with users going so far as to claim it depicted the cooking or vore fetishes, though it is unclear how many of them were genuine complaints and how many were simply jokingly referring to the massive amount of complaints resulting from the 2008 banner.
Chewfox's appearance on The Tyra Banks Show
Former Furocity staff departure (2011)
In late October 2011, several[clarify] of the Furocity administrators brought over after the merge abruptly resigned, citing gross negligence by the original Fur Affinity staff and owner, and the apparent disregard of such by Dragoneer.
Within a few weeks, Gavin Daemonshyai was the only Furocity staff member left on staff, and the original "department" system was abandoned. He was eventually removed from the administrative staff.[clarify]
"Aged up" guideline (2012)
On February 8, 2012, it was announced by Sciggles that a new "age up" guideline was now in effect regarding Sonic characters' "cub art". Sexual artwork of the characters canon image would not be allowed, as they were considered, by FA staff, as cub characters.
No restrictions would be imposed on Sonic sexual material as long as the characters were "aged up" (with a diagram provided).
It was later clarified that My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic would not be covered by this rule, except for Baby Spike and the Cutie Mark Crusaders, while Tiny Toons would be. No other animated shows were mentioned further on the post.
Pinkuh reiterated on the FA forums that this announcement was a reconfirmation of a "Sonic age up" policy posted on 2010 on the FA's forum.
On September 7, 2012, administrators began banning artists of "aged-up" Sonic adult art.
On February 16, 2013, user Qarrezel posted an opinion piece ("Exodus"), on her Fur affinity account, where she expressed her frustration towards the apparent non-response of the Fur Affinity staff to deal with user Fredriksam's inferred stalking behavior towards her friend and client, Tarangryph.
On it, Qarrezel presented the case that not only had Fredriksam posted Tarangryph's personal information online, contacted her to try to gain more of it, and wrote disturbing sexual material involving her persona, but that the FA staff actually went out of the way to "punish" her by not banning the user, but by also removing all information Tarangryph had posted about her apparent stalker.
The FA staff responded to the issue in several ways:
- Admin Qoph replied on the thread that immediate action was not taken regarding Fredriksam because the original ticket was issue by a third party person (user Svedge) with no evidence, and that they did exchange information about it with Tarangryph, but wanted to discuss the situation with Dragoneer because of the serious nature of the possible offense. On the removal of Tarangryph's journal containing all the "evidence" against Fredriksam, Qoph responded that that was a "normal action", in compliance by FA TOS' rules.
- Admin Cerberusnl inquired Tarangryph further about the subject on her "Leaving FA." journal, and reaffirming that her journal, classified as a "callout journal", was proper subject for deletion because of the TOS rules.
- Dragoneer responded initially to the issue via ticket response saying that:
|The admin took the right course of action in this case. I don't feel it's something to leave FA over, as if it happened on FA, it will happen on /any/ site. It's unfortunate, but a choice they have made. I'll respect that.|
And that there was not enough solid evidence to ban the user "at that time."
The post generated more than 1900+ responses, most of them critical to the FA staff's response (or lack of it) to the issue. A number of FA users, including Qarrezel and Tarangryph, announced that they would be leaving Fur affinity because of it. Fredriksam was eventually suspended and had his IP address blocked when some evidence of stalking behavior (creating a sock puppet account, Garageman, to continue harassing Tarangryph) was posted on FA.
- (Date unknown) - Wolfblade, sponsored by DragonMyr, was made FA Admin, despite a 1 in favour, 13 against vote against him,[clarify] prompting calls of cronyism. .
- 2012/2013 - Dragoneer's fiance (and later wife) Sciggles was appointed to an administrator position - despite having no prior administration or moderation experience - this time prompting calls of nepotism. Dragoneer had previously stated that Sciggles would not be made an administrator due to their relationship. After a brief absence, she was re-instated as administrator in 2013 as "Team Lead", a position in which she trains new administrators.
- 2013 - Chase, an FA administrator who resigned from the staff in early 2011 following a fight with Dragoneer, was re-appointed in 2013, although Dragoneer required him to use a alternate account (Carmen) to hide his identity. This particular appointment resulted in the resignation of at least one FA staff member.
- January 2014 - A month after Zaush joined the Fur Affinity team, users complaints (which had been building up slowly since December 2013) for FA's decision to accept his helps reaches a boiling point by January 16, 2014.
- The fan based and non-furs' backlash was based on Zaush's allegations of sexual misconduct and bullying, and even outright rape of fellow female furs. These past allegations had been brought up for years, intensifying after Zaush's FA involvement. The result was a tremendous amount online discussion topics, pro/against Zaush, rational and/or drama (Lulz) based.
- This debate spread to social media, critic, personal, and forum sites, the focal point being Fur Affinity itself. Regarding the situation and allegations, Dragonner and his staff put their support behind Zaush, with Dragonner declaring the charges "baseless", "without merit", or "not serious enough" to pursue the idea of relieving or removing Zaush from his position. This decision continued to incise people opposed to the hire, upping the ante, specially on FA, which resulted on the suspension or banning of several individuals, and the removal or hiding of their posts in any topic the FA team feel was detrimental to Zaush or the site.
- This lead to the further creation of discussion posts and entries, specially in social media, the creation of sites dedicated to the subject., and vandalism, specially of Zaush and Fur Affinity's articles on Wikifur.
Exodus II (January 2014)
Due to to Zauch's perceived actions, and or the unnecessary drama some people felt it generated, a large group of user's moved their accounts to the Weasyl, either emptying out their archives, leaving them as is but abandoned, or keeping accounts in both FA and Weasyl.
- Furaffinity.org information — launch of forum on Furaffinity.net. Posted on SheezyArt, 16 January 2005.
- FurAffinity - note re. Transfer of mainsite and 400+ users. Posted on SheezyArt, 21 January 2005.
- "Server Hardware Fault" (2008, July 1). Dragoneer, Fur Affinity Forum.
- FA Forums: Server Hardware Fault, page 120, post #1786 by Artie reads "$10,477.15 via Amazon, plus over $6,000 via PayPal. So, over $16,477.15 total so far." on July 6, 2008, 5:35PM EST
- FA Forums: Public Donation and Expenditures Log, Please., page 1, post #15 by Seppel (based on an official file published by Dragoneer here) reads "I checked the budget Dragoneer posted. $18,000 is more than twice FA has ever had. [...] $18,000 will go far. Very far. "(7 July 2008, 9:03AM EST)
- Augustgate (Retrieved ?)
(Chat logs truncated to remove noise. More bans than shown were handed out, but not all shown to maintain readability.) 00:40:24 <Carenath> *points a finger at #hackfurs* 00:41:14 <Carenath> Well, put two and two together... people in that channel, have axes to grind against FA and if it was an outside cause.. I'd blame them first. 00:41:39 <Carenath> Meredith: they did it before. 00:42:37 * Pi (~pi@fur-9F1E9EA1.tcct.nmt.edu) has joined #furaffinity 00:42:38 * ChanServ sets ban on *!*pi@fur-9F1E9EA1.tcct.nmt.edu 00:42:38 * ChanServ has kicked Pi from #furaffinity (User has been banned from the channel) 00:44:26 <Carenath> Meredith: Im not an FA Admin. 00:44:58 <Carenath> FAF forum mod. 00:46:00 * ChanServ has kicked Meredith from #furaffinity (Requested (Pinkatron)) 00:46:02 * Meredith (~firstname.lastname@example.org) has joined #furaffinity 00:46:02 * ChanServ sets ban on *!*email@example.com 00:46:02 * ChanServ has kicked Meredith from #furaffinity (User has been banned from the channel)
23:52 -!- Snowpony [firstname.lastname@example.org] has joined #furaffinity 23:54 -!- Pi_ [~email@example.com] has quit [User has been banned from FurNet (Ban Evasion)] 23:56 -!- GHDA [~GHDA@pool-173-79-208-221.washdc.fios.verizon.net] has quit [User has been banned from FurNet (Trolling is bad m'kay?)]
01:38 < Snowpony> omiiko: for trolling and previous conduct. That enough for you? 01:39 <+AFKobura> Snowpony apparently someone tried private message with the specific admin and they were turned away with a threat of being klined themselves 01:39 < Snowpony> AFKobura: and? 01:39 <+omiiko> Snowpony: I'd prefer if the Admins followed their own CoC and placed the ban reason in the actual *line 01:40 < Snowpony> omiiko: Sure - I'll go update the ban then. 01:44 < Snowpony> Bobbluejay: I've answered your questions - they can log back in 24 hours.
- Oh, and you thought your cable outages were annoying? - Net-Cat, (30 November 2009)
- 02/Dec - The Dragoneer, (2 December 2009)
- It looks like we're planning to bring the site up Monday night - The Dragoneer, (4 December 2009)
- 08/Dec - thevirtualcat, (8 December 2009)
- 09/Dec - The Dragoneer, (9 December 2009)
- Furaffinity Tweet Announcing the Site is Back - The Dragoneer - Furaffinity Twitter Page (9 December 2009)
- http://community.livejournal.com/furaffinity/213163.html FA Livejournal
- Eevee (Retrieved ?)
- 10,000,000 post by Fender on his Fur Affinity account (Retrieved February 26, 2013)
- "Simple Warren Bust" submission by Warren Duster on his Fur Affinity account (Retrieved February 26, 2013)
- Zaush announcement about joining Fur Affinity post on Twitter. Posted December 23, 2013. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
- Banner Update + Project Phoenix post by Fender on Fur Affinity. Posted January 15, 2014. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
- Ursa Major Awards - 2012 on the UMA website. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
- Ursa Major Awards - 2013 on the UMA website. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
- "FA Policy Notice - "Cub" Art". Posted by The Dragoneer on November 5, 2006.
- "Where Has All The Cub Porn Gone?" (Retrieved ?)
- Thread discussing the banner removal
- Photografuhrer (former FA photography administrator) and leaving FA. Posted on Fur Affinity. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
- good-bye post by WritenWren on Fur Affinity. Posted October 27, 2011. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
- Re: FA + Furocity: 4 months on. post on the Fur Affinity Forums. Posted . Retrieved April 26, 2013.
- Guidelines for Mature/Adult Sonic Images (Retrieved February 8, 2012)
- A clarification on sonic/underage (Retrieved February 13, 2012)
- Exodus post on Qarrezel's FA account (Retrieved February 15, 2013)
- Leaving FA. post by Tarangryph on her FA account (Retrieved February 16, 2013)
- Qoph response on the Exodus journal entry on Fur Affinity (Retrieved February 16, 2013)
- Cerberusnl response on the Leaving FA. journal entry on Fur Affinity (Retrieved February 16, 2013)
- Dragoneer response on the VERY Important! This could Affect ALL FA Users journal entry on Fur Affinity. Retrieved February 16, 2013.
- Synwolf response on the Leaving FA. journal entry on Fur Affinity (Retrieved February 16, 2013)
- FA Retrospectacle (Read 10122 times) commeny by former FA admin DaveHyena (A Pigeon) on Vivisector.org. Posted April 17, 2009. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
- FA forum's thread "Why is Sciggles an admin now, despite Dragoneer saying she would not be one" echoes these statements
- Shivadramon account created January 23, 2013.
- FurAffinity Leaks Posted by former administrator SimbaTheLion.
[04:55] <~Dragoneer> Chase may have had a rocky past previously, but he was a good admin. We're still on great terms. He's basically going to be coming in to help with harassment tickets (and only harassment). [04:55] <~Dragoneer> Kitashi: He and I got into a fight. [04:55] <&Kitashi> Ah :x 06[04:55] * @Hendikins twitches [04:56] <~Dragoneer> Hendikins: ? [04:56] <@Hendikins> I'm just thinking PR. [04:56] <~Dragoneer> Again, hence with all admin accounts, why he's on an alt and it's on the downlow. If it comes out, we'll announce it.
- Chase resigns from FA staff Pastebin chatlog transposed to Vivisector Forums.
- So, about that other site... post by Hendikins on Weasyl. Posted April 3, 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
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