WikiFur: By furries, for furries, about furries; and WikiFur, the furry encyclopedia
|Author(s)|| Founder: GreenReaper|
Curators: (see list)
Contributors: (see statistics)
|Launch date||July 24, 2005|
|Article count||21,463 in English|
WikiFur is a website dedicated to the collection and preservation of information about the furry community and culture. It is a wiki, built by contributions from readers and built on MediaWiki, a free software open source wiki package written in PHP, originally for use on Wikipedia, which anyone can edit the site, and their changes are reflected immediately. Translation/localization efforts exist in Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Esperanto, Estonian, German, French, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, with affiliates in Finnish and Swedish.
WikiFur has been at WikiFur.com since 2009.
- For more information about how WikiFur works, see WikiFur:About
- 1 Mission and content
- 2 Audience and impact
- 3 Organization
- 4 Promotional activities and advertising
- 5 Media coverage
- 6 Controversy
- 7 Timeline
- 8 Interesting facts
- 9 Awards and recommendations
- 10 Quotes about WikiFur
- 11 Related terms
- 12 References
- 13 See also
- 14 External links
Mission and content
WikiFur's stated mission is to "record information of use to the furry community", in an attempt to distribute it to others. This mission has been widely interpreted, and WikiFur contains articles on art, literature and other forms of culture both created by and of interest to members of the furry fandom, as well as the people and characters within it, their history and interests, the worlds they inhabit, news on events of current interest, and much more besides. It can also offer a good introduction to the fandom, although Wikipedia's article is considered by WikiFur's founder to remain the best single page on the topic.
Motives for contributors vary. There are those who simply enjoy collecting and organizing information on anthropomorphic topics. Many are fans of particular topics and wish to help write "the definitive article" on it. Some see WikiFur as a means of "getting the truth out" about contentious subjects like the babyfur community, while others value it as a source of information which, while not completely without bias, is at least subject to an element of peer review and modification.
Audience and impact
As of March 2012, WikiFur attracted around 7500 visitors and 21,000 page views per day in English, and around 1500 visitors and 4000 page views in other languages. Around 3000 edits were made per month (~2000 in English), with 50-60 contributors making five or more edits, and four to eight contributors making 100 or more edits. Roughly seven articles are created a day, excluding those which are swiftly deleted.
WikiFur has been referenced by others within and without the fandom, including Animal Passions, an article on Anthrocon 2006 published in the Pittsburgh City Paper and pieces in T Magazine, L Magazine and 20 Minuten. Some fans have mentioned WikiFur as the source of information leading them to attend a furry convention.
WikiFur is linked to by several popular sites, including PeterCat's Furry Infopages, TV Tropes, Inkbunny, Furry News Network, Encyclopædia Dramatica, Rabbit Valley, Lake Area Furry Friends and the websites of Califur and Rocky Mountain Fur Con. The site has an international reputation, with links from Dutchfurs.com, FranceFurs, Furbase.de and Wolves' Paradise, and partner agreements with TurriWiki and WikiLurv.
WikiFur consists of a loose federation of wiki communities bound together by a common purpose. Each is run as a meritocracy granting greater power — and responsibility — to those who display ability and devote time to the project. Most decisions are dealt with by forming a consensus among small groups of interested editors, while larger issues are debated by the entire body. For example, when searching for a new host, WikiFur editors with relevant expertise submitted proposals that were discussed and voted on by most long-term users.
Significant authority rests with the founder, GreenReaper, who owns the WikiFur mark and wikifur.com domain name, handles donations, and manages the hosting provided by Timduru. He acts as the public face of the English project — and, by extension, WikiFur as a whole. However, editorial authority is vested in the entire body of colleagues, and his involvement in non-English projects is normally limited to technical, custodial and advisory matters.
Wiki projects not using the WikiFur marks or wikifur.com, but which share a common theme and principles (most notably, freely licensed textual content and the neutral point of view) are treated as sister sites, and added to the WikiFur interlanguage links and the international portal.
Promotional activities and advertising
WikiFur has engaged in various methods of promotion and advertising, the latter being paid for by site supporters. Promotion usually focusses on two goals: increasing readership, and attracting new editors. Emphasis is often made of WikiFur's size, both in terms of articles and audience, and of the importance of its mission. Methods of promotion have included conbadge-like business cards, flyers, ribbons, and posts and comments on news sites, forum and LiveJournals, along with paid conbook advertising and Google AdWords coverage.
In May 2009, Cracked.com editor David Wong included WikiFur as #4 in a list of "5 Terrifying Bastardizations of the WikiPedia Model". Conservapedia was #5, Encyclopedia Dramatica was #3, Pagan Wiki was #2, and Metapedia was #1. The WikiFur section included modified excerpts of the WikiFur articles on Nazi Furs, Yiff, and The Furry Map of Denmark. David went on to call Christian Furs especially weird for their depiction of Jesus as a lion.
|While WikiFur does not require total neutrality, the point of view of this article is disputed.|
Please check the talk page discussion before making substantial changes.
|This section does not cite its references or sources. ()|
As a popular fandom site with avenues of discussion, WikiFur has its share of controversy.
There's a belief that WikiFur could provide trolls and other people with information that would be used to disparage the image of the furry fandom within mainstream society, by altering or exposing verbatim furry data and facts that could confuse people or disgust people, further enhancing the perceived stereotypes of the fandom.
There is also concern that WikiFur may be co-opted by such above mentioned people to push their own point of view in the name of neutrality, as highlighted when an Encyclopedia Dramatica user edited the same articles on both WikiFur and on ED at the same time.
Privacy versus information
Roughly half of the articles on WikiFur are articles about people. Contributors are encouraged to make articles about themselves, other members of the fandom and/or about people who create material of interest to furries, whether or not they consider themselves members of the fandom. But there is a continuing conflict between the goals of both respecting the privacy of individuals and fully documenting the history of the fandom.
While the underlying goal of WikiFur regarding privacy is to do no harm to past or present users with articles in the wiki, this has led to the removal of some factual information from articles (normally by request), which always risks the charge that WikiFur is either failing to preserve furry history or that there are unstated motives for allowing for the removal of such information. Trying not to fall in either of those perceived camps has not been easy, and has led to heated discussion and criticism from both sides of the issue - History preservation conscious individuals accusing Wikifur of compromising its mission or "playing favorites," or pro-privacy members calling the site a "stalker's heaven"
WikiFur may remove real names from an article that is not specifically about the person when the name is not relevant. For example, the name of the commissioner who bought a painting for $10,000 at auction was omitted because the issue was the price of the painting.
But some requests for private data removal are occasionally refused, specially if historical context or possible continuing repercussion to the fandom is present or possible (for the later see Mitch Beiro, Mozdoc, TORA, Evil Sibe, Frank Gembeck, Ted Sheppard, Alan T. Panda, Mizzyam, Formic Hivemind, Wolfie Stonespirit, Brown Leopard, Keba, Lightpaws, etc), and making legal threats to WikiFur has not been effective in having information removed.
This privacy exception also carries over to the full personal exclusion of some user articles under the same guidelines. Furthermore, some notable and extremely notable people (famous or infamous) requesting exclusion are subject to a much stringent review for such by the site's community, and even if exclusion is granted, some of their personal (not private) furry centric information is normally moved out to relevant pages, before exclusion is applied.
Although Europe is evolving a legal right to be forgotten, WikiFur is not compelled by law to remove any private information. Articles about comics and other public works are not removed even if the author requests it, as they are not "personal information" but "public works".
As with other Wikis, there is an ever-present danger of bias on WikiFur. The most expected bias would be the simple fact that most contributors and editors are members of the furry fandom, and may be expected to likely have a "positive only" opinion of it. This can lead to accusations that certain articles are biased towards the fandom's position or as a tool against its critics.
Claims that an article is biased (in either direction) are typically resolved by removal of unsourced information, by providing references, or by giving attribution to any statements that are opinions. The decision on what information to include in an article, and in what proportion, may itself put the topic in a false light. The usual remedy is to suggest that the person complaining about it fix it by adding the appropriate relevant information or reference material.
As opposed to personal information and opinion, WikiFur actively removes contributions that appear to be untrue. However, an acceptable standard for inclusion is that the contributor believes the information to be true. Actual facts are sometimes harder to determine, and WikiFur has made mistakes.
Despite this, WikiFur is cited as a relatively reliable source on contentious topics that it covers, and it has been praised for its attempts to provide useful information while avoiding bias.
Like many furry forums and sites which allow comments, WikiFur has its share of vandals. However, since it is a simple matter to return to a previous state, most vandalism is reverted within minutes. The members of 4chan's /b/ board took particular interest in the site, and regularly organized raids until August 2006.
Despite multiple attempts, no vandalism since Something Awful from any source has succeeded in disrupting WikiFur for more than a few hours - the worst case was a sophisticated account-registering bot that used the Tor proxy system, which has since been blocked.
- Main article: History of WikiFur
WikiFur was conceived in July 2005 by British software developer Laurence "GreenReaper" Parry while creating an article for The Blind Pig on the English-language Wikipedia. Founded July 24, 2005 on the Wikicities (later Wikia) wiki hosting service, WikiFur was initially promoted on Wikipedia's furry fandom article talk page, followed by posts on LiveJournal and alt.fan.furry. By August 28, the wiki held over 1000 articles; the count reached 10,000 in 2008.
WikiFur also made inroads into non-English content, beginning in 2006 with an affiliation with the autonomously-administered Finnish-language Turriwiki; this was furthered with the launch of three Wikia-based language-specific WikiFur projects in 2007. New languages were launched on the wikifur.com domain from mid-2008, hosted on a server provided by Timduru, and the other languages joined them over Summer 2009.
- What was the first content page? Evil Sibe! (initially as Sibe); Uncle Kage followed three hours later.
- WikiFur was not the first time the concept of a wiki for the furry community was raised - one was suggested by David Cooke in 2001 on alt.lifestyle.furry
Awards and recommendations
WikiFur has been in the Recommended Anthropomorphics List published by the Ursa Major Awards every year since 2006 (listed under "Recommended Anthropomorphic Miscellany"). It was nominated for Best Website in the 2011 Awards, coming second to Equestria Daily.
"Somewhere else in this thread somebody posted a link to the furry wiki. As of so far, this is the only even handed thing I have seen posted here regarding Starfinder as it reports the allegations, doesn't claim them as truth and provides information on what to do. How hard is that?" -- Darkwolven comparing WikiFur to artists_beware
"WikiFur was definitely useful, I would have spent months gathering information without it. Feh on that! I was also glad to see that it seemed to maintain a rather evenhanded point of view overall; considering how factionalized FF can be that can be difficult. One man's fair is another man's controversy..." -- Chris F. Grant
Quotes about WikiFur
- I first cringed at the thought of a furry Wikipedia roaming on the net. I figured it to be a rather one-sided "don't talk about the bad, only use it as a propaganda site to make furries look good" website. What I found it to be instead was a rather well done unbiased encyclopedia on the fandom. -- nothingkat
- I had no idea that furry culture was this big! Wow, this is really a nice community. :3 -- The LP
- Wikifur is definitely one of the fix-stars on the furry sky ;) -- Toumal
- It's a field crowded with high-quality entries, but WikiFur's emergence and growth after a smear campaign makes it uniquely qualified to receive attention, methinks. -- Tom Howling voting for WikiFur as a Featured Wikicity
- For the furry, by the furry, about furry ? It is the best motto that I have ever heard. :) -- Alphawolf Kiba
- The term 'Wikifur' (sometimes inter-capped as WikiFur, also Wikifurry/WikiFurry) is also used to describe a frequent contributor of WikiFur, much like 'Wikipedian' is used to describe a frequent contributor of Wikipedia
- A WikiFur page about a person is sometimes (incorrectly) referred to as "a wiki" or "my wiki", in the same way, that people refer to "my LiveJournal" or "my MySpace"; this usage is not endorsed by regular editors
- Google Analytics figures
- English WikiFur statistics
- WikiFur global statistics
- The Digital Ramble | Obsession - Rosecrans Baldwin, 15 May 2008)
- An Interview With a Furry - Audrey Ference, L Magazine (15 March 2012)
- Ces adultes qui enfilent un costume d'animal - 20 Minuten (10 August 2011)
- "Awful Link of the Day". August 15, 2005. Something Awful.
- Wikia features WikiFur as Featured Wikicity, December 2006
- David Wong's cracked.com member page. Retrieved 2009 June 12.
- 5 Terrifying Bastardizations of the WikiPedia Model - David Wong, Cracked.com (11 May 2009)
- Accusation of dubious editing practices by GreenReaper against SleepAtWork
- August 18, 2011 calculation of 51%: 7138 articles in Category:People, 1900 articles as at Special:Statistics.
- Talk:Guardian Knights
- Rant: WikiFur by Kellie Gator on the Fur Affinity Forums. Retrieved ?.
- Comment about WikiFur in regards to Starfinder by Darkwolven in artists_beware, 9 August 2006
- Comment on the use of WikiFur by Chris F. Grant
- WikiFur:Moving hosts
- WikiFur moves languages to new server
- English WikiFur moved to en.wikifur.com
- 2011 Ursa Major Awards voting now open - Fred Patten, Flayrah (16 March 2012)
- WikiFur-specific news (obsolete; see LiveJournal)
- WikiFur statistics
- Local wiki statistics (note: page views and user count inaccurate)
- Google Analytics reports (Google account and prior authorization required)