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Veteran FAF members heed my call!

KimberVaile

Officially elected and actual ruler of FAF
Well, admittedly this is a pretty niche appeal here, but after giving a peer over the "Why do Trolls Hate Us," thread that was made in 2008; I've taken a sort of weird fascination with the online culture of FAF from the yonder years(I blame my interest in history partially). Seeing the way people spoke and bantered then; it's like a weird little time capsule of sorts, quite interesting!
I joined pretty late to site, during 2017, so I missed a lot of what happened before. So, I suppose I'm curious if some of the more grizzled or veteran members of the site who have been around for more than 5 or 6 years, might have some insight. How was the site different from now in terms of forum culture, and what were some of the more err 'dramatic' moments that happened way back?

It'd be great if I could nab somebody from the 06-09 days! Must be stories a plenty! Heck, a few old threads from those days would be pretty interesting too! Won't hold my breath though, most of the older members have long since parted ways with the site unfortunately. Still, thought it was worth giving it a try!
 

TyraWadman

The Silent Observer
Technically I'm from 2010 but I feel things have definitely made progress since then.

1 part shit-posters, SFW-only extremists, and the 'anyone that is not hetero is mentally ill' brigade was relevant when I first joined. Didn't bother using it much for very long though, since it was clique central.

I suppose in regards to shit-posting and cliques it's still the same. Just new faces/attitudes.
 

Kit H. Ruppell

Exterminieren! Exterminieren!
I don't remember what was being discussed when I joined in 2009, but I do recall that random trolling was more prevalent. If I recall correctly, admin's threshold for thread locking was higher as well.
 
D

Deleted member 82554

Guest
I actually miss neo-FAF when all the rampant trolling and shitposting took place, even the staff was in on it most of the time. Those where the days...
 
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Deleted member 82554

Guest
And you hated the idea of coming back here so much. The name and avatar maybe slightly different, but I remember you, bro. Actually it kinda makes me wonder how many former fuck FAF members are back here under a new name. I wonder if Mentova and Ozriel are still around...
 
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D

Deleted member 82554

Guest
I really do miss this guy, I gave him so much shit but he took it pretty well. Gotta respect him for that.

 

KimberVaile

Officially elected and actual ruler of FAF
Technically I'm from 2010 but I feel things have definitely made progress since then.

1 part shit-posters, SFW-only extremists, and the 'anyone that is not hetero is mentally ill' brigade was relevant when I first joined. Didn't bother using it much for very long though, since it was clique central.

I suppose in regards to shit-posting and cliques it's still the same. Just new faces/attitudes.
Interesting. Yeah, a lot of the shitpost culture is very rare to see now. I think I witnessed the twilight of that in 2017, as the last few shitposters kind of lost interest/got banned. Kind of surprised to hear that Burn Furs mentality lingered for so long. Perhaps it was a social response to the early years were trolling was common in the fandom.
I don't remember what was being discussed when I joined in 2009, but I do recall that random trolling was more prevalent. If I recall correctly, admin's threshold for thread locking was higher as well.
This makes sense, I know the mid to late 2000s was the high point for fandom trolling.
 

KimberVaile

Officially elected and actual ruler of FAF
I actually miss neo-FAF when all the rampant trolling and shitposting took place, even the staff was in on it most of the time. Those where the days...
A part of me feels like I missed out or that is to say I at least wished I could have seen a bit of it myself. If not for the fact that seemed to be a trial by fire element that you needed to go through to become a member. I guess the seeming exclusivity of it was alluring in a way.

Not too knock current FAF, it's nice it's more inclusive and such which obviously makes it more broadly welcoming. But, a part of me wanted to see the roughhouse too and maybe even have a good natured throw down. Kind of nags at me that I never saw it for myself. It's like I'm missing most of the pages from the story.
 
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Deleted member 82554

Guest
The former community was under the impression that fostering a hug-box type of environment would breed its own sort of toxicity so it was often quickly stamped out. Back then the feel of FAF was more akin to sitting in a bar room, having a few drinks and shooting the breeze with the occasional bar fight. It was kind of nice because not everyone took themselves so seriously back then, as you often see here on FAF today.
 

KimberVaile

Officially elected and actual ruler of FAF
The former community was under the impression that fostering a hug-box type of environment would breed its own sort of toxicity so it was often quickly stamped out. Back then the feel of FAF was more akin to sitting in a bar room, having a few drinks and shooting the breeze with the occasional bar fight. It was kind of nice because not everyone took themselves so seriously back then, as you often see here on FAF today.
That's what I was seeing in that 08 thread, a lack of self seriousness, that lax aspect to it, that's what drew me to it. Everybody seemed in good spirits, cracking jokes, and very earnest in intent, people seemed to respect each other a little more too. You make me feel nostalgic for something I've never experienced. Ah well..what's done is done. Perhaps I've got an inflated/romantic perception of it, dunno
 

TyraWadman

The Silent Observer
If cracking jokes at the expense of another/hazing someone to be one of the 'cool kids' is your cup of tea, then sure.

Some people were twisted enough to go about harassing other users for absolutely no reason, and then turn around to comfort someone because they openly expressed that they had depression or were experiencing suicidal thoughts. Reminds me of those stories where someone keeps poisoning a person just so they look selfless for taking care of them.

I believe Encyclopedia Dramatica and their extremist followers were still around for this time. Entertaining to look through the cringe, but also cringey to see how messed up some of these people were to actually have them stalk and document every breath of another human being, and with such extreme, unrelenting rage.

I really don't think people were any more relaxed than they are today. Just different triggers/topics of the time.
 

KimberVaile

Officially elected and actual ruler of FAF
If cracking jokes at the expense of another/hazing someone to be one of the 'cool kids' is your cup of tea, then sure.

Some people were twisted enough to go about harassing other users for absolutely no reason, and then turn around to comfort someone because they openly expressed that they had depression or were experiencing suicidal thoughts. Reminds me of those stories where someone keeps poisoning a person just so they look selfless for taking care of them.

I believe Encyclopedia Dramatica and their extremist followers were still around for this time. Entertaining to look through the cringe, but also cringey to see how messed up some of these people were to actually have them stalk and document every breath of another human being, and with such extreme, unrelenting rage.

I really don't think people were any more relaxed than they are today. Just different triggers/topics of the time.
Weren't there more mods back then, or were the enforcement of rules less consistent? If that's the case, it does seem like FAF has struggled to find it's balance for a long time. It does seem more stable now, though, I don't feel like the toxicity has left completely now, it just manifests in different forms. The drama feels ceaseless and exponentially more petty, though, I guess drama probably happened often then too. Going by what you mentioned. Perhaps worse than it is now.

I suppose the grass looks always greener in hindsight, it's easy to look at the current problems and subsequently praise something that you don't have a full comprehension of, but I suppose it just makes me more curious if anything to know all the details. I do remember ED being big in the mid-late 2000's so, that'd make sense, especially since it correlates with the constant trolling.
Discontent at an imperfect forum I suppose. Perhaps the current forum bugbears and my subsequent idealization of the past says more about my own frustrations. I'd be the first to admit the incessant conflicts are starting to wear on me.

That's neither here nor there though, the insight is educational regardless, for that I am thankful.
 
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GarthTheWereWolf

Captious Lycanthrope of Forum Legend
The mods were far more chill and interacted with the members in threads more often rather than just swooping in to administer punishment from on high. Hats off to Minty and the work he did.

It was definitely less hug-boxy and cliquish. There weren't so many witch hunts for "wrong think" nor were they as tolerated. It was more just shoot the shit and have fun with one another. Trolling was an acceptable past time and the ones who had thicker skins were the ones that stuck around and became regulars while those that didn't bailed. Murry purry furry types would roll on up in here and be all "owo, cuddles you/notices your bulgy wulgey" and the regulars would be like, "wut" and point out how ridiculous they were. Didn't go well with many from the main site who viewed FaF as a toxic cesspool because it wasn't immediately accepting of furry cringe behavior. Dragoneer hated FaF and there was often talk about plans to remove it floating around the forums. The hot topic buttons back then were more anti-religion. (not that that has changed much since, mind) God help you if you admitted to having Christian faith. Been on the wrong end of that dog pile several times. Trans stuff wasn't the divisive issue it is now and one of the more respected regular members was trans herself and often the voice of reason when threads got heated. (Miss you Red. Rest your soul)
 

TyraWadman

The Silent Observer
Weren't there more mods back then, or were the enforcement of rules less consistent? If that's the case, it does seem like FAF has struggled to find it's balance for a long time. It does seem more stable now, though, though I don't feel like the toxicity has left completely now, it just manifests in different forms. The drama feels ceaseless and exponentially more petty, though, I guess drama probably happened often then too. Going by what you mentioned. Perhaps worse than it is now.

I suppose the grass looks always greener in hindsight, it's easy to look at the current problems and subsequently praise something that you don't have a full comprehension of, but I suppose it just makes me more curious if anything to know all the details. I do remember ED being big in the mid-late 2000's so, that'd make sense, especially since it correlates with the constant trolling.
Discontent at an imperfect forum I suppose. Perhaps the current forum bugbears and my subsequent idealization of the past says more about my own frustrations. I'd be the first to admit the incessant conflicts are starting to wear on me.

I do believe they had more mods back then! But the rules/policies were different, or mods just each had their own take on how they thought things should be handled. I was quickly warned to watch my wording despite it being generalized and unrelated to my experiences. Everyone that picked at the newbies were obviously still flourishing.

Wherever there are bored people there will always be opportunity for drama. It can be a bit hard to avoid it though, considering people will try and leak it into every other unrelated thread that they can grasp. You're definitely not the only one feeling this frustration.
 
D

Deleted member 82554

Guest
The mods were far more chill and interacted with the members in threads more often rather than just swooping in to administer punishment from on high. Hats off to Minty and the work he did.

It was definitely less hug-boxy and cliquish. There weren't so many witch hunts for "wrong think" nor were they as tolerated. It was more just shoot the shit and have fun with one another. Trolling was an acceptable past time and the ones who had thicker skins were the ones that stuck around and became regulars while those that didn't bailed. Murry purry furry types would roll on up in here and be all "owo, cuddles you/notices your bulgy wulgey" and the regulars would be like, "wut" and point out how ridiculous they were. Didn't go well with many from the main site who viewed FaF as a toxic cesspool because it wasn't immediately accepting of furry cringe behavior. Dragoneer hated FaF and there was often talk about plans to remove it floating around the forums. The hot topic buttons back then were more anti-religion. (not that that has changed much since, mind) God help you if you admitted to having Christian faith. Been on the wrong end of that dog pile several times. Trans stuff wasn't the divisive issue it is now and one of the more respected regular members was trans herself and often the voice of reason when threads got heated. (Miss you Red. Rest your soul)
I almost forgot about Red, I was just getting to know her before the accident. I also vaguely remember her being trans. She was more the voice of reason than anger back then. I don't even remember her getting upset about the improper use of pronouns. She was a proper role model.
 

KimberVaile

Officially elected and actual ruler of FAF
The mods were far more chill and interacted with the members in threads more often rather than just swooping in to administer punishment from on high. Hats off to Minty and the work he did.

It was definitely less hug-boxy and cliquish. There weren't so many witch hunts for "wrong think" nor were they as tolerated. It was more just shoot the shit and have fun with one another. Trolling was an acceptable past time and the ones who had thicker skins were the ones that stuck around and became regulars while those that didn't bailed. Murry purry furry types would roll on up in here and be all "owo, cuddles you/notices your bulgy wulgey" and the regulars would be like, "wut" and point out how ridiculous they were. Didn't go well with many from the main site who viewed FaF as a toxic cesspool because it wasn't immediately accepting of furry cringe behavior. Dragoneer hated FaF and there was often talk about plans to remove it floating around the forums. The hot topic buttons back then were more anti-religion. (not that that has changed much since, mind) God help you if you admitted to having Christian faith. Been on the wrong end of that dog pile several times. Trans stuff wasn't the divisive issue it is now and one of the more respected regular members was trans herself and often the voice of reason when threads got heated. (Miss you Red. Rest your soul)
Interesting, I mean, we could definitely would be better off with the less witch hunts part of that. But, as with many things, it seems to be just, well one extreme to another. Shame there wasn't a happy middle ground that was ever found. I have seen very many older FAF members give a lot of praise for RedSavage, though it seems unfortunately they ended up passing. Shame I never got to meet them, but they sounded very pleasant. Appreciate you pitching in too, you're a pretty level headed sort, though I must confess, I hadn't known you were such a longtime member, 2008. Damn son!
 

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
FAF used to be incredibly toxic, and there was a time/set of mods that didn’t see that as a problem. It says something (nothing good) about the forum culture of years past that the user response to mass staff resignation was to overtly and blatantly act out. I worked hella hard to get to a place where users actually (usually) respected me saying “dial it back” without having to issue formal warnings.

Like... there’s a reason I didn’t touch anything but the Site Discussion area for a long-ass time.
 

Fallowfox

Are we moomin, or are we dancer?
I've been around since 2012- with a hiatus in 2017 when I spent much of the year working on Ships.

I think I was 18 when I joined, and the site at that point was a very negative influence on my life.
I had realised by the time I took that absence that I was being exposed to some horrible ideas; a user on the forum had tried to convince me that the Holocaust was a fabrication, for example. Another sent numerous messages to me trying to convince me of the inequality of human races.
However, it was only when I left the site for a year that I fully felt I was able to identify and resolve prejudices I had been introduced to- because a lot of things had snuck in 'under the radar' as it were.

The site is a much nicer place now, although in these modern days of divisive social media, retaining positive online spaces has become a perennial struggle for any website.
 

JuniperW

Birb Fanatic
I may not be a veteran, although some of the stuff that went down last year got pretty chaotic.
Especially when discussion of politics was allowed.
Oh boy, the political forum was...something.
Anyone who joined since October last year will never get to experience it, and for that, I'm quite grateful.
 

Attaman

"I say we forget this business and run."
As somebody who has been here for a long time

Cons of early FAF:
+ There were orchestrated raids by forum users to raid other forums, and as said at times it was only a few steps shy of Encyclopedia Dramatica.
+ Forum User Cliques. People joke / “joke” about there being shadowy cabals of users who actively talk in private chat rooms to mock / badger users with Moderator participation. This actually happened on Old!FAF.
+ Toxicity has already been mentioned, multiple times, over multiple threads.
+ Pretty sure there was an attempt to derail the Oslo Shooting thread with a “Buy Bitcoin” spiel. Either that or the Ukraine invasion. One of the two.
+ It birthed Phoenixed. ‘Nough said.
+ It had a fanatical #GG crowd. ‘Nough said.
+ I was still an insufferable prat here, just of a different sort.

Pros of early FAF:
+ Had Deo, FayV, Vex Werewolf, and a couple others as active members. Some users may consider this an irredeemable Con.
+ Mods. The forum had more than 2-3 active. There was no 2017-2019 stretch where most of the moderation was a single user.
+ I got the fuck out in 2013-2014ish, so avoided the worst of the #GG / proto-Phoenixed stuff.
 

Fallowfox

Are we moomin, or are we dancer?
I just remembered one of the staff members on furaffinity in the 'old days', was a 15 year old boy.

A 15 year old boy.

I met him after he had turned 18 and gone to University, because we went with another former user to get some drinks at a bar.
 

TrishaCat

The Cat in the FAF
I'm 2013 so not *that* old but
FAF used to be a lot edgier and people used to be a lot meaner
I did feel like there was more comradery amongst some posters and in that regard seeing certain familiar faces was a really pleasant experience, but people did a lot to harass anyone outside of the norm back then.
 
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