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Yiffy.net was an adult furry online community, featuring forums, live chat, an image gallery, and numerous other features. In August 2008, the site merged with two other sites - Yiffy.Tk and Furrum - to form Yiffy International.
- Addresses: http://yiffy.net
- Founder: Sniper Fox
- Founded: Mid-2002 (became part of Yiffy International in August 2008)
- Main article: History of Yiffy.net
Just prior to the merge, Yiffy.net was home to approximately 1,888 furs (including alternate accounts,) with around 500 regularly active accounts and up to 50 users logged on at any one time but at its peak of activity had over 5,000 accounts registered well in excess of 200,000 posts. The site generally had a ratio of around 4 male furs to every 1 female fur.
Yiffy.net's content monitor had simply been thus - "Keep it furry". No subject was considered taboo, though anything of a stronger nature - such as roleplaying rape, snuff, watersports and other strong fetishes - was required to warn readers of its content in the first post, that way furs could avoid accidentally reading anything that they found unpleasant.
New management and the "merger"
When it was originally announced that Micah would be stepping down as administrator, to be replaced by Sniper Fox, and that Yiffy.net was to merge with Yiffy.tk, the news was greeted with equal parts scepticism and enthusiasm. Just as some were hopeful of a new lease of life in the site so too were others dubious about the idea of merging with a links portal site and being handed back into the paws of the site's founder and previous head admin.
Many new shinies were promised - better forums, better chat, image galleries, links, more users to play with. Gradually, more and more members seemed to come round to the notion. However, things started to go spectacularly wrong in the middle of August when the three members of staff who would have been the admins of the new, merged site all resigned and announced that they would not be coming back.
All of this came immediately on the back of the announcement by the site's new tech admin - Karma - that the currently existing threads on Yiffy.net would not be transferred as it was too much work. While this was understandable, the reaction was far from sympathetic.
While it was certainly the end of a long and - for many - glorious era, a lot of furs took solace in the fact that the new Yiffy International, run by Karma and Sniper Fox, promised to be even bigger and better. However, as was shown on resignation boards and by accounts not being logged back into, there was also a percentage of Yiffy.net users who rejected the new site and left to find other homes on the 'net.
Yiffy.net always operated a fairly aggressive policy towards keeping minors out of the site. As well as the Terms of Agreement users faced when registering, members were age-checked if there was suspicion of them being too young to be there (due to behaviour or accidental admission), and the moderation team also often requested proof of age from members who had been suspended due to causing significant amounts of drama, making the provision of ID a requirement to being allowed back to the site.
If members were unable to provide such, then their IPs were banned from the site until they could show themselves to be of the necessary age to view adult material in their locale, a fairly effective way of preventing them from re-registering with a different account.
This was seen in some quarters as being unfair but the fact remains that, as a site with adult content based in a country with fairly stringent pornography laws, Yiffy.net had both a moral and legal obligation to prevent underage persons from accessing their site.
After Micah Coon took over the site from Sniper Fox in summer of 2006, he introduced a fairly hard-line policy on any and all usage of netspeak and leetspeak. Under that ruling, any use of it whatsoever would result in a warning for a first offence, a one-day suspension for the second and then incrementally increasing lengths of suspension thereafter. This practice was hugely unpopular and saw a number of long-serving members in trouble for the seemingly minor offence of saying “BRB” in the site’s chat rooms.
While discussing the issue with the soon to be returning Talija, Micah agreed to relent on his stance and the ruling was relaxed so that certain, more common terms would be allowed. This was later relaxed further and the site's ruling on leet/netspeak prior to its closure stood as below -
- Abbreviating small words (i.e. "you" becomes "u", "your" and "you're" become "ur", "to" and "too" become "2", etc) were still outright banned. Users, however, will be warned once before facing suspension.
- Use of terms such as "LOL", "BRB", and "WB" were allowed in moderation. Casual use did not result in any disciplinary action. Flagrant and excessive abuse of it (e.g. using "LOL" twice every sentence), could.
In summation, the emphasis was on moderation in its usage and since the relaxing of the rule there were no incidents of users being suspended for using net/leetspeak. Over time, the rule stopped being enforced in any disciplinary manner, with a simple, polite request to decist being made of anyone who did use excessive netspeak.
The cull of 2008
In February of 2008 Yiffy.net’s main administrator, Micah Coon, conducted a house-cleaning of the thousands of inactive accounts on the site, removing all the profiles of users who had left but not deleted their profiles, registered accounts but never activated them, and forgotten or abandoned alt character accounts.
To assist those members who had inactive alt accounts that they wished to keep, and also members who had registered primarily for the chat and had not posted in the forums recently enough for their account to be marked as active, a thread was set up by one of the site’s admin with the specific intention of giving users a place to post and hence mark their accounts as active.
Unfortunately, however, the whole process was rushed and in hindsight the period of notice was simply insufficient for something of this magnitude and many users who had been away on vacation or just taking a short break from the site did not see the announcement or “Don’t Delete Me!” thread. This, coupled with the tendency for a large percentage of the site's members not bothering to read announcements, led to a number of active (but not posting) members being somewhat irritated when they discovered that their accounts had been amongst those deleted in the purge.
The sites administrators have since apologised for this mistake and will be making sure that the site’s members are in future given considerably more notice of anything of this ilk. On the flip side, however, even after this event there was no notable increase in the proportion of site members actually reading official site announcements, which goes to show that you can only do so much to inform people and that the rest is up to them.
As a non-profit site, Yiffy.net was sustained purely by donations and out of the pockets of its staff. In the past, donations were very few and very far between and even the introduction of a shop with Yiffy.net merchandise failed to prise badly needed cash from the wallets of the site’s members.
Hence, despite the site having spent most of its years with a membership large enough to make it so that a few cents from every member would be enough to keep the site running for a whole year, Yiffy.net faced closure numerous times over its history.
Each time it narrowly avoided this, once by being moved onto Sniper Fox’s own computer as a temporary server but most other times by a considerable act of generosity from a very few members or staff.
This was less of an issue after the change in leadership to Micah Coon and the move to a different server – the site’s technical admin at the time was also the operator of its host server and as a site member he understood of the problems with obtaining funds and was hence a lot more forgiving than previous hosts if the site was late in paying their server rent, sometimes going so far as to allow the site to run for several months before catching up on payments.
Towards the end, however, a donation drive saw staggering generosity on the part of a couple of staff and a few members; between less than ten people, enough money was raised to support the site for half a year. The move to vBulletin was also funded by the minority, with only Talija and TigerPaw contributing to the cost of the $80 licence.
Most references are from Yiffy.net's own discussion boards (both public and admin-only). Other information supplied by site staff or taken from archived web pages. With the closing of the site, page references are believed to no longer be in existence.