Sep 5, 2023Liked by TracingWoodgrains

Fantastic article.

I’m just glad these people are directing their efforts towards things that don’t really matter, like deciding who attends furry meetups. History gives us all too many examples of how bad this “denounce others to prove your own loyalty” dynamic can get when applied to matters of consequence.

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Sep 5, 2023Liked by TracingWoodgrains

You covered this with the depth of Matt Taibbi, getting to understand and present all sides by digging below the surface.

And at the same time, it's the stupidest, most petty and immature story I've read about in a while.

Thanks for the work and the good read.

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Feb 28Liked by TracingWoodgrains

Brilliant work. Small-scale story with big-scale insight. We need a lot more thinkers like you in this world. Bravo!

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Nov 3, 2023Liked by TracingWoodgrains

... I know I shouldn't be so reductive about something you so clearly put a lot of work into, Mr. Woodgrains, but I honestly can't help but feel that the entire thing can be summed up as "Whale cancer." As horrific as it all is, it's also entirely predictable -- a group of people that positively *savor* getting to punch Nazis in the face, will inevitably savor punching each other in the face. If you grant yourself moral license to do anything you want (cause it's *moral*, you see), you inevitably turn into a terrible person. And if you get promoted for attacking others, inevitably your society turns into a self-devouring clusterf*ck of Klingon Promotion (https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/KlingonPromotion).

... at the very least, it fits into the vague notion I have that "All the worst disagreements in the world are caused by people trying to agree with each other. That's when things get *really* ugly."

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Sep 5, 2023Liked by TracingWoodgrains

"I’m not much for tabloid trash and messy fight videos, I confess, so normally this is the sort of event I’d briefly catch wind of on social media before grimacing a bit and wondering at what I’m doing with my life."

At least you can justify it as a part of your job.

I have no such justifications for being completely engrossed in internet drama. I simply find it entertaining.

Either way, thanks for writing this. It's a great story and you were the perfect person to dig into it.

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I think that the only way to disincentivize this kind of thing from happening is to harm people who judge others without knowing all the facts. The reason people participate in this kind of tribalist behavior is because they don't have any skin in the game, and when you make it clear that judging somebody else incorrectly will result in a very harsh punishment for THEM, they'll take the time to look deeper and investigate more thoroughly before making (or believing) false accusations.

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As someone also smeared by O'Furr as an alleged "fascist", I would have sued him myself long ago except that he's got nothing to sue for and has a history of doing things like assaulting his own roommate for accepting the notices of service he himself actively tries to dodge. He's literally not worth the hassle.

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Sep 6, 2023·edited Sep 7, 2023

This goes off the rails in many places, for example, here:

"I searched within the group, first checking whether any active members had heard of Skaard before the beach incident — they hadn’t — then searching the near-million messages in their chat history for any mention of Skaard or Renn, or messages from either. As far as I can tell, neither Skaard nor Renn ever posted anything to the group, or were mentioned, in the entire chat history. Moreover, the reaction within their chat server to the beach confrontation itself showed no signs that anyone viewed the fracas as an assault on one of their own, or that anyone recognized the victims.

People don’t trust the Furry Raiders, of course, but they have much more motive to falsely claim Skaard than to falsely disown him: a member of your group being assaulted gives you the opportunity to paint yourself in a sympathetic light to outsiders."


An astute watcher would know better context for this.

In 2017, coinciding with Skaar joining the Furry Raiders, not long after vocally doing exactly what they do with his indefensible nazi fursona, the alt-right peaked with the Unite The Right hate rally in Charlottesville. It was organized in a bunch of Discord servers.

Guess who else was doing that? the altfurries and Furry Raiders.

In early 2018, in response to literal terrorism using their platform, Discord did a blanket sweep of all those servers.

Including the altfurries and Furry Raiders.

Foxler did not tell you this and Discord records were not searched because their offending activity got them deleted.

Guess what they did when it came out that altfurries were literally admins in Richard Spencer's alt-right server?

They made a group effort to deny they knew who those altfurries were. To name one Richard Spencer admin, Nathan Gate, furry co-founder of the altfurry Discord.

Why else would Furry Raiders deny knowing these people besides hiding something? First, they aren't know for personal loyalty to anyone, they constantly fight each other. Second, they enforce extreme loyalty to the group and if someone isn't vocally defending them then that person goes down the memory hole. They do that when their members go to jail too.

The point being that describing their connection based on deception about records, speculating motives, and uncritically repeating what they say is stupid. Quoting them at all for any reason is loaded at least.

Ever see nazi-furries post ironic rainbow swastikas, claim that they're gay so they can't possibly be nazis, etc? Posting Renn's shirt as an example of how there can't possibly be anything dishonest there smells credulous.

They may not be very devoted to shitty ideology, but wearing that shirt to bypass a ban smells like passive-aggression. There's a lot of coping and swerving around the inconvenient history of two people who were banned and just couldn't stop pushing for years.

No is a complete sentence.

You don't actually have to both-sides on behalf of people who refuse to understand the word No.

One more note on coping and swerving: "defending others from accusations of extremism only provides further evidence that Skaard is a Nazi" - the accusations in the link are evidence of people being outed from an actual terrorist forum so what are you even doing? You also repeat a claim that some were silently edited out based on tweets against it, but that doesn't match the contents, ie, the tweet you featured is lying. Speaking of credulously believing less than credible people while swerving around actual evidence of neo-nazism.

Noticeably absent: any effort at all towards that while events are having to handle terror threats always from one direction. Nathan Gate was one of the people documented behind them. https://www.mephitfurmeet.org/2023/09/events-on-sunday-september-3rd-2023/

This whole thing stinks of elevated whataboutism couched in feigned concern. Bandaging the poor foot of a nuisance knocker who stuck it in the door, while frowning about mean people who put up signs to stay away and then slammed it.

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