People have been hearing murmurs and rumblings for the past few days. Many "what ifs". As many of you have heard, we have been working on new AUP and TOS revisions. We've been planning these updates to the AUP for some time - revise descriptions, make it clearer and more concise. What we didn't plan on was removing cub art. That changed last week.
Firstly, let us explain the situation: AlertPay dropped us. We have been having issues accepting payment processors for some time to fund the website, as any reputable company we've contacted has given us the thumbs down when it comes to our content. Specifically, they have only ever had issue with one particular kind of content: cub art. Everything else has been fine, but companies want to distance themselves from that grey area because it makes people uncomfortable.
AlertPay canceled, and specifically cited cub art as the reason. We were given no options to appeal. With that cancellation, a fairly sizable amount of money in our balance from ads and donations have been lost, which has effectively crippled the website from having ways to fund itself long term. We will not be able to maintain and improve without a reliable payment processor at our backend, and that can not happen while they continually have a disagreement regarding certain specifics with what we host.
Right now we have to make a choice. Do we continue on with cub artwork and protect the artwork in the name of freedom of speech? Or do we remove the one Achilles heel that has proven itself to be a liability and a frustration?
If we want to keep Fur Affinity alive we have no choice but to remove cub art. It's been a limiting factor for us, and it's been impacting us for a while. But now it's become something we can no longer turn our eye away from.
What happened to us can happen to any other furry site out there. It's a grim reality, and when it comes to grey areas, corporations don't want the legal risk. I don't blame them. As frustrating as it is, I in no way blame them taking the actions they did.
This is a risk we all knew was a possibility.
So, with that, and this update... we have no choice but to prohibit mature cub art on Fur Affinity. The site must come first. We know this will impact some users more than others, we know it will be stressful and frustrating, but we have no choice in the matter.
We hope you can understand our position on the matter.
What IS Being Removed
Adult cub art, or images where the character age is specifically stated to be under 18 in a mature situation. Artists will have 21 days as of this update to remove any and all content from their gallery. After that time, the administration will begin to remove submissions from galleries which violate the new rules. These will not count against your FA record, or be held against you in any way.
Images of cub will be removed, and those borderline will be removed at admin discretion. Our interest is in preserving artistic integrity wherever possible.
What IS NOT Being Removed
Cub art that's not mature. Again, unless it's pornographic in nature, it is fine and well within the site rules. I'll repeat that for a third time: clean cub art is fine.
We will also not be removing mature/adult chibi art, stylized images or pictures that are drawn in otherwise cutesy styles.
Harassment Against Artists
Because this is a sensitive issue, we're issuing this warning: harassment against cub artists will result in a three (3) month ban from FA. If you have a track record on FA, are on the list of usual suspects, have previous bans for harassment or serious violations, the ban will be escalated to permanent.
We will not accept harassment of any sort. Zero tolerance. You have a choice. You can make comments or you can keep them to yourselves.