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Yiffnetlog.jpgYiffnet Logo
Subject Furry
Operator(s) Elkay, Brian W. Antoine
Status Defunct
Ran from/to September 23, 1995 - November 11, 2001

YiffNet was a furry-oriented IRC network that operated from September 23, 1995 until November 11, 2001.

Name's origin and problems[edit]

The name "YiffNet", though innocent enough in concept, would come to be a long-standing source of chagrin for the network’s administrators as well as many of its users. Taken from the Foxish language created by Foxen of FurryMUCK, the word "yiff" was originally defined as "an exuberant greeting."

Unfortunately, the word was also gaining widespread use as a euphemism for furry sex (the sound made by two foxes rubbing together). By the time the administrators realized their mistake the network had become a thriving furry community.

The subject of changing the network’s name would arise from time to time but it was invariably decided that a name change would be more trouble than it was worth.


The network began as an exercise in TCP/IP networking between Christopher Masto (Elkay, Li0nK1ng), then a student of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York; and Brian Antoine (Kalindra, Kyrn), then a senior engineer at Olivetti in Spokane Washington.

In spite of its humble beginnings YiffNet blossomed into a major hub of furry activity within a year of its founding, a sign of success that the network’s original denizens didn’t find particularly desirable.[citation needed]

Yiffnet's purpose[edit]

The original meaning of YiffNet was lost on the dozens of new users that arrived each month, as was the network’s original purpose: To be a refuge from the chaos that was the rest of the Internet.

For years, YiffNet’s main channel, #Furry, held its own against the influence of new users due to the constant efforts of key administrators and long-time users to direct overall channel behavior, and for years, everything seemed to be going well—at least to those not privy to YiffNet’s administrative politics. Under the surface, YiffNet was falling apart.

Internal problems[edit]

Frustrated with the near impossibility of making necessary improvements to the network due to disagreements on policy, lack of cooperation, and stubborn adherence to long-outdated goals and ideals, the key administrators and personalities who first formed YiffNet began to withdraw from the network.

Their replacements, experienced on the larger networks but unfamiliar with the special qualities that made YiffNet what it was, stepped in and began running the network, and #Furry in particular, no different from other channels on other networks.

Yiffnet's demise[edit]

YiffNet was dissolved on November 11, 2001 when Elkay shut down his server and removed all IRC server entries from the YiffNet domain. His reasons remain the subject of speculation as Elkay gave no warning before pulling the plug on the network and has never explained his actions.

The shutdown didn’t come as a great surprise to the other administrators, however, as it was well known that Elkay had been unhappy with the network for some time. In the aftermath of the shutdown, Hanno Foest (Hurga), who ran the German Panther server, joined with Aetobatus, and Dario Abatianni (Eisfuchs) to begin YiffNet’s successor network, FurNet.

However, Yiffnet as an IRC network still exists. Kyrn/Kalindra/Brian acquired the domain name eventually and brought it back to to life.