Who runs the Internet? furry

The IT industry is full of people involved in this unique fan base around anthropomorphic animal characters. For IRL, Dylan Reeve meets four types of fur to explore why.

“Fur runs the Internet.” It’s a familiar fixture among IT industry geeks Twitter And the in another placebut there is certainly real truth to it, and that is the case even in Aotearoa.

Furry fan is a subculture that focuses on anthropomorphic animal characters. For the most part, the subculture sees people participating online in message boards and groups, like any other fan base. Just as Swifties congregate online to share photos, stories, rates, and products dedicated to Taylor Swift’s wonders, Furs converge online to share conversations, media, and content about, say, 6-foot wolves.

Many outsiders, if they are familiar with fur at all, assume that society is about little more than a fuzzy kink. This is simply not the case, according to both insiders And those who did wrote about him Fans. It’s a bias that furs are all too aware of, however, that means many don’t feel comfortable opening up about their involvement.

Ember Fox, a purple Cyberpunk Fennec, has been involved in some server maintenance. (Photo: @slideruleskunk on Twitter)

Despite the low public profile of furry fanatics, it is often suggested, and anecdotally true, that IT experts are over-represented among members of society. As such, there are hundreds (possibly thousands) of fur behind the scenes within telecom and technology companies around the world. Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon: all the biggest tech names in the world probably have major roles.

put briefly In one tweet 2019: “All modern communication would collapse if about 50 people, mostly furs, decided to turn off their pager for a day.” or, In another tweet: “I guarantee you, the internet would collapse in a very horrible way if you cut off all the fur in the world than Thanos.”

else Last TweetIn response to a photo of a dozen Furries together on a flight, imagine a different disaster scenario: “I object to having multiple Furries on the same plane because if there was an accident, it could paralyze the American IT industry in an instant.”

Things may not be entirely final in New Zealand, but we’ll still know about it if we lose all our fur in a freak accident, said MJ*, a cloud computing consultant and organizer of the fur conference. “It will definitely have a noticeable effect,” he told me over the phone. “You will definitely find a lot of [IT] Companies with significant shortfalls in some divisions.”

According to MJ, there are even furs in senior management and C roles within well-known New Zealand companies.

H*, a software developer with “half a degree in Computer Science, a Diploma in IT Technical Support and a Certificate in Software Engineering,” suggested that fans were widely represented in IT in New Zealand. “I still run into any big IT-based company that doesn’t have at least one of us working there,” they noted during an encrypted voice chat. Mostly in senior positions.

Ember Fox*, a lead software engineer in Pittsburgh, tells me the situation is similar in the United States, but on a larger scale. “There are a lot of furries out there who have a lot of diverse positions in technology,” she told me on a video call. “Fur is in the entire hierarchy of the technology industry. One of my friends is the chief technology officer of a company, and when I worked at a university I was a manager there, and I had a number of fur-wearing student employees.”

Forsuna MJ is a large dragon, not particularly furry. (photo: attached)

MJ has been in the New Zealand IT industry for more than a decade, and now helps companies navigate the complex world of cloud computing. Most of his friends in the furry community know what he does for a living, but due to the public’s sexual perceptions, the same is not true of the opposite. “It is something I will not hide or deny if it happens, [but] “I’m not sharing it ostensibly unnecessarily,” he explained. “A lot of it is because I work in consulting, and there is definitely a certain ‘legal personality’.”

H is similar. “It’s not something I usually mention in my career,” they explained. “People working in IT tend to be vaguely aware of what online communities look like, but the perception of the fan base is sometimes incorrect.”

Negative perceptions about the furry community are often influenced by a few exaggerated mainstream images that fans are often presented with as little more than a fetish community. One of the most notable examples was in 2003 CSI episode “Fur and Loathing” where he suggested that the fandom was nothing more than a huge fur-clad orgy.

H’s fursona is a black and blue fur domestic cat with contrasting coloration, i.e. different colored eyes. (Photo: JaybeeSFW on Twitter)

This is not entirely accurate, according to the fur I spoke to. Instead, they describe an inclusive and welcoming online community where they feel safe to be themselves. “There is a huge prevalence of LGBT people in the fan base. The first, because it tends to be a very acceptable place, and the second because it gives people a way to experience their identity in a safe way.”

Final*, a systems engineer at the ISP, explained some of the assets of furry online communities, and their value to their members: “We’ve created our own spaces and websites to gather and be present in our communities. These can be safe places that we can modify to make sure hateful people don’t have a voice. On the podium. And we can keep it safe, especially for younger members of the fan base.”

But why does so much fur work in the IT field? There are no definitive answers, but the nature of internet fans in nature probably has something to do with it, according to most of the furries I’ve spoken to. “Being part of the furry fan base, to reach out to other like-minded people, you spend a lot of time on the Internet,” Final suggested. “You spend so much time on the internet, you become an expert in [computing] And then you go and seek a career in it. “

FInal’s fursona is a fancy type of his own design called Aliudae. (Photo: DSteverArt on Twitter)

“The fanbase is also a very friendly place for gay and neurotypical people, and there are a lot of people like that in tech as well, because a lot of people like us would rather work with computers than people,” explained Ember Fox.

This strong connection between the fur community and information technology also provides opportunities to connect with fur. “A lot of people I know work in IT, I originally met them through fandom,” H told me.

“I can’t go to a conference in [the IT] Space without it, effectively, ends up as a fur encounter of some description,” MJ said. “This is how I got contacts for different aspects of the job. And people often post about jobs. I’ve recommended people I know who are big fans of Jobs, and vice versa.”

For Ember Fox, the idea that her next job might come through in a furry relationship is very realistic. “I’ve gone to interview for a number of different jobs through furry contacts. The job I currently do has been through a traditional recruiter, but my shortlist for other places I’d like to work mostly includes furry people.” “So the furry community would probably be the most likely carrier if I were to move out of my current role.”

Is it true that the internet is run by fur? Perhaps – there is definitely truth behind the idea, the fan base is well represented behind the scenes in the IT world. But don’t worry, we’re all on safe feet.

*All furs in this story are referred to either by fursona names or her initials to protect her privacy.