Furries are getting younger.
Well we mean, the fandom is getting younger. In two studies conducted in 2011 and 2020, the fandom’s median age has gotten younger.
That said, more minors – people under 18 – are joining the furry fandom. Demand for SFW-only spaces steadily rose. The “fluffies”, or “fluffy fandom” came to prominence around June 2020 as the “bastion” of this idea.
But furries thought the “fluffy fandom” concept was something very bad and tried to stop them.
Ever did they know, they turned this concept as a minor-friendly space – into a “second Burned Furs”, a cyberbullying case, and an assault on someone’s mental health? In short, furries screwed up.
The furry fandom we know today is a melting pot of people from diverse backgrounds, regardless of occupation, race, and gender, among others.
It means that, as with other fandoms, it has its own safe-for-work (SFW) and not-safe-for-work (NSFW) sides as well.
If the fandom was to be a spectrum bar, as said, one side will be SFW, the other being NSFW. These sides have their own names, particularly the term “yiff” for the NSFW side, and “fluffies” for the SFW side.
The term “fluffies” was coined by a furry called @DurianChop.
As an asexual minor themselves, they describe this as a strictly safe-for-work space that welcomes minors, sex-positive furs, especially asexuals and anyone looking for a clean space.
Asexual means someone who feels no sexual attraction to others and has no interest in sex.
They reside in the SFW spectrum of the fandom – therefore, “fluffies” are not separate from furry fandom, @DurianChop added.
Mixed reaction; critics make big claims
The introduction of this concept attracted varied reactions from the fandom.
A number of furs felt intrigued and held positive views of the idea.
On the other hand, detractors alleged that the idea attempts to “take down the NSFW community” or to “break away from the fandom”. They also add the idea may be more prone to predators as well.
Some even alleged connections between the fluffy community and far-right groups. The names given are the Furry Raiders and the “Burned Furs”.
The Burned Furs is a defunct movement that aimed to counter adult content in the fandom. Their public conduct is very aggressive, making them notorious.
That and all of the allegations were addressed by the creator.
The fluffy fandom creator responds
First, the initial icon used by the Fluffy Community Twitter account looks like a black paw icon on a white background.
Furries then alleged they were linked with the Furry Raiders. That is given an apparent resemblance to the insignias they wore on their armbands.
The Furry Raiders are a political social group. They got embroiled in many controversies, especially since their insignias looked like the Nazi German swastika symbol.
However, the creator responded in a tweet that they used the image after searching online for ‘paw print’ images and had no awareness of these groups in the first place.
They changed the account’s profile picture afterwards.
Secondly, the creator added they acknowledge the presence of the NSFW part of the fandom.
The fluffy community meanwhile, in their words, does not shame people of their sexual preferences or hold an “NSFW is ruining the fandom” mindset.
Thirdly, the creator said the fluffy community is an SFW sub-community of the furry fandom. It is not a separate community as the allegations claimed.
Lastly, the creator stated that they may also put up moderation in their online communities to keep predators out of the fluffy community too.
The dispute, complicated; inactivity came
The situation was further complicated when a clone account with the same name, but a different Twitter username @TheFluffyFans surfaced.
Many furries claimed this account is “spreading far-right propaganda” and making statements contrary to the “fluffies’” concepts and ideas.
@DurianChop in response said the account @TheFluffyFans is fake. They also claim the account is responsible for the streak of harassment they received.
On that, some pointed out that some furries even sent explicit material to @DurianChop – a minor – in response to the fluffy community concept.
@DurianChop eventually locked the fluffy community Twitter account.
They said in a tweet, this controversy “adversely affected their mental health”. The account will become inactive.
So far, is this overreaction or simply an attempt to “stop alt-right advancement” in the fandom?
The fandom had numerous negative encounters with alt-right or politically-leaning entities in the past. For example, Milo Yiannopoulos and the Furry Raiders respectively.
So, it can be said that the fandom is sensitised towards things that are ‘politically suggestive of far-rights’.
But furries are slammed for harassing the creator @DurianChop.
Positive reception grows
On the bright side, the fluffy concept has received much positive attention from furries around.
More furries are now calling themselves fluffies in support of this project.
They praised its concept of being minor friendly and its emphasis on creating a safe and clean space for others, in the midst of a relatively saturated environment.
But no matter how much positive reception there is, it still could not save the falling project.
This controversy highlighted the fandom’s generally sexually tolerant environment. Whether is it SFW or NSFW content, furries have the freedom to express their creativity in these realms, or in between.
But as more young furries come to the furry fandom every year, creating more safe, clean and age-appropriate spaces became more important. That does not mean that the NSFW side must be gone, either.
In the end, there will be those interested in adult, or family-friendly spaces. It ultimately is a personal preference.
But no matter what they prefer, they are in the end, not separate from – but are part of – one furry fandom together.
VIDEO STORY: How furries bullied someone with assumptions | Furry In-Depth
24/6/22 4:24pm UTC+8: This article is under our “Down The Timeline” series. We added a timeline here.Editor’s notes
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