Capricious, adjective: changing mood or behavior suddenly and unexpectedly.
It's a fact of the internet that different stuff is allowed in different places. You're not supposed to post two hour long video essays to Twitter, just like you're not supposed to post nudity to YouTube. Post the two hour long video essays to YouTube and the nudity to Twitter though, and both platforms will be a lot more likely to give you a big thumbs up. In western culture, a lot of modern governments have some notion of "Free Speech," where like it or not, people can say what they want to say; but, at the same time, most social media platforms are private companies, and have a lot of power to decide what's appropriate for their platform and can stay, vs what's wrong and will result in content being removed or accounts being banned.
As zoosexuals, one of the most hurtful lies told to us is that we aren't allowed to have a voice. But that's absolutely not true. Just like we can get coffee with our buddy and admit face-to-face that our love of our dog is a bit more than platonic, we also can type pro-dog-kissing sentiments into the internet. But, just like coming out by calling out your dog's name in the height of passion with your human partner might not go over well, it's also the case that streaming a monologue of all your risqué animal escapades is not going to go over too well on Twitch. It's not a question of whether we can speak about being zoosexual at all, but rather, where we can speak about being zoosexual that's going to go the most smoothly.
So let's take a look! Across the major social media platforms of the internet, how's it going to go if we start putting zetas in our bio and talking about Rover as our betrothed?
Before we start, we should lay out some ground rules.
1) This is aimed less at person-to-person chat platforms, that basically boil down to texting. For right now, we're looking at platforms that can be more creator-to-audience. These are less considering if you can get away with sending your pal a private confession of love for his , and more considering if this platform will let you become the next zoo influencer with your zooey blog or artwork or video essays. We're looking at things that, in essence, can function as "a platform" as in "a stage" for zoosexuals, if we think we might want to use them that way.
2) Also, to be clear, we will be looking at how these platforms actually are in practice, rather than legalistically combing over what the terms of service technically say.
3) And, last caveat: these things evolve constantly. A platform that's zoo-friendly one week may ban all the zoo accounts they can find the next. And, conversely, a platform that was once zoo-unfriendly might seem to stop enforcing it, or admit that there are certain ways they enforced their policy in the past but other ways of zoo self-expression they don't actually mind, and so that platform may then see zoos poking their heads into those spaces again. So, this article was written in May of 2023, and parts of it very well could be outdated by the time the month even ends, but if nothing else we can treat this as the current state of things if you caught this article when it came out, or as a historical curio if you're looking at this from the distant future of May 2024.
Okay. Are we ready for it? Let's jump right in with the social media platform that, like it or not, has the biggest visibility to the public right now.
Zoo friendly, for the most part! There are quite a lot of openly zooey accounts with follower numbers in the thousands! It would seem, from what we've seen, that you are entirely allowed to create a profile that says you're zoosexual in the bio, and post about safe-for-work zooey things like how much you love your equine partner and what kinds of animals you find the most attractive. You can use this as the hub of a zooey activism project, like @zooeydotpub or @zooierthanthou, or you can use it as more of a personal normal social media account that you also talk about zoo stuff on, like @akitothezoo or @thebrassbulldog.
Dangers are, first of all, you can't get too explicit about the act of bestiality here. Videos straight up depicting human-on-human boot-knocking are allowed, at least behind age filters which, is fair enough. But, showing pics of just how much extra care your Husky partner gets compared to most other dogs is very likely to get your account banned. Even putting pics aside, just making a post that directly talks about how you have sex with animals (if you do) is risky territory: you might be fine, but you might face some consequences for it if a witter staff member is having a bad day when your case flashes across their screen for 3 seconds. So if you're in it for the long haul, it is best to play it safe here: you should be alright talking about how nice dog butts smell, you just might be in trouble if you talk about how you just gave the base of your etriever's tail a lengthy goodnight smooch.
The other danger is, there is a lot of anti-zoo presence on Twitter. Are a lot of them 13 year olds making empty threats by sending you Goku memes? Yes. Yes, an enormous number of them are, and they are very cute thinking that they're threatening. They can be ignored. The problem isn't them. The problem is, because everything that happens on Twitter is so public, antis on nastier sites outside of Twitter will gaze into Twitter for identifiable information about individual zoos. So, on Twitter and in general, it would probably be a good idea to create an alternate persona that you act as when you're saying zooey things, and don't post selfies where in the background you can see the signpost of your nearest cross street.
But, overall, Twitter is currently where it's at for having a public-facing zooey presence, and staff don't seem to mind us being there.
Probably not a good idea. I can't say I actually know of any zoos who are using Facebook (or, "Meta," eyeroll) as a zooey platform. And, that's not really surprising, as this one tends to be pretty directly linked to your real life identity and your real life social circles. Not to say your grandma hasn't touched more stallion equipment than you ever will if she used to live on a farm, and not to say that some zoos aren't out to their families anyways, but all the same, talking about queer activism and animal activism is likely to ruffle some feathers among the aunts and uncles and neighbors and old high school friends.
What makes this one interesting is that, Mastodon isn't a company who controls the platform and all of the platform's content. It's more like, Mastodon is a generic software that allows anyone to host their own platform, and then others who are also using it can choose whether or not they want their platform to link up with any other given person's platform. You could set up your own instance of Mastodon and post all of the zooey content you want to, family friendly or completely explicit, and nobody could really stop you because the platform is yours. But, how many other people using Mastodon are going to want to link up with your Red Rocket Drawing Reviews feed is up to them.
Masto is... complicated. And no, please don't mansplain to me how "it's actually very simple let me show you this powerpoint." No. Compared to Twitter or Facebook, the way that Mastodon works is more complicated than the average person wants to bother figuring out, and as such, it's probably never going to explode into being the number one platform in the way that Twitter is, or Facebook was before that.
Therefore, as a platform for zoos, this one is kinda six of one, half dozen of the other. There are zoos in the woodwork of Mastodon and last I heard it's going alright. I don't think this is going to be the platform where we garner much positive mainstream interest, and I'm not even sure I've heard that the zoo scene there is bumpin, but if it seems like your thing then it's probably a fine enough space to set up camp.
Video! These two platforms respectively have very similar approaches to zoo tolerance. Which is to say, "Your mileage may vary. You can post here but you should assume that your channel will be revoked someday."
On YouTube, we have seen zoo podcast channels get taken down, that channel's same content stay up. Other podcasts seemingly stay stable. Some non-explicit zoo get age restricted, other non-explicit zoo don't. The whims of YouTube's content moderation have always been capricious even for big-name creators, so the less privileged guys like us are really just left to the elements.
And that's also the vibe on Twitch, so far: we have seen zoo streamers banned for "hate speech," aka calling yourself a zoo and then literally just playing video games while happening to be a zoo. But, we've also seen zoo streamers who Twitch either hasn't noticed yet or has decided are fine today, for some inscrutable reason.
For YouTube and for Twitch, it's not hard to see the appeal of being there. It's great for posting longform video content, and it's great for community engagement and shareability; if you've ever had to send someone an internet video that's not on YouTube, it almost feels like you owe them an explanation for why you would do such a thing to them. YouTube and Twitch definitely have their utility, but I also wouldn't recommend making either of these platforms your social media home if you're planning to be openly zooey there.
Also, this is really neither here nor there, but YouTube doesn't allow porn, obviously, and it certainly doesn't allow bestiality porn, but you can look up dog breeding and see all kinds of videos of dog breeders smiling to the camera as the jerk off a stud and stick their fingers in a bitch. Curious, YouTube. Curious. I'm not saying, YouTube, that you're in the wrong about anything: I think that in this case, it may be more fair to say that you are merely the proverbial mirror which we hold up to society. Still, all the same, curious.
Not very zoo friendly, in terms of the user-base and in terms of policy enforcement. Plus it's full of children. No thanks.
This. Is. Where. It's. At! I don't know if Telegram's terms of service just says "lol zoos come on down" or what, but the TG's are abuzz with zooey activity. Meme channels, big hangouts, private group chats, person-to-person. As far as zoo stuff is concerned, content seems to be moderated only by whatever user founded the group and assigned out mods, so if a group has good standards (like you might see with Double Shield Initiative groups), then you're in much better hands than you would be on most other platforms. If you're a zoo who wants a place to be but Twitter is a little too public, then Telegram is a direction that's worth exploring.
The main safety tip worth keeping in mind here is that your privacy is still a factor. If you're in a huge group chat that's open for anyone to join, then for all intents and purposes you should consider whatever you say there to be public information, even if it's a more tightly knit group than a Twitter thread would be.
Relatedly, you need to use a phone number to sign up for Telegram. Is it likely that your pastor, who has you on speed dial, is also on Telegram, and might bump into you in ZooFurs Unity and have some questions? Who could say. But, to avoid having that question answered for you, it might be worth looking into Google Voice or getting a relatively cheap burner phone, whatever way makes sense for you to get a phone number that you only use for zoo stuff.
This is an example of a platform that would have seemed to have been unfriendly to zoos, but is actually tepidly cool to zoos. Basically, this is a platform where talking about acts of sex with animals can get your entire server in trouble, but talking about your zoosexuality as an identity is allowed.
It's certainly not an ideal policy. I would certainly like it if among like-minded adults I could hold a martini glass and chat freely about how doggone happy this order ollie boy was to learn that there's a human around who will give him a helping hand if he'd like it. If all adult conversation like that were banned, that would be one thing. But conversations human-x-human are allowed completely. And "no beast talk" is a very hardline stance that we have seen play out for the worse. The fact that I can't speak openly around other adults about animal smooching specifically, for fear of getting a perfectly nice server in trouble, does not engender a strong feeling of trust in the platform. It kind of makes it feel like they are holding their nose while allowing us to be there, and that we may soon overstay our welcome.
But, while the scope of conversation may be limited, the fact that we're allowed to be openly zoo is better than other platforms, and it's not like that counts for nothing. There is more than abundant non-explicit conversation to be had about how nice it is to share your life with a cat or a dog. Plus, it's remarkably affirming even just getting to have completely off-topic conversations with someone who has zoo pride flag colors in their profile picture. There have ended up being a couple of really fun spaces that are zoo- and therian-oriented. Plug for the servers Zooey Dot Pub and B.I.T.E.
Inherently, any given furry website is going to allow animal attracted content to some degree. For some it may be quite tame, like a drawing of Maid Marian blushing. Others, well, you can use your imagination and it's probably on there. But, the reason we're talking about all furry platforms as though they're a single gestalt intelligence is because, when it comes to zoosexuals being on their platforms, it would really seem that furry websites are ground zero for capricious rule enforcement.
A platform that takes "a hard stance against tolerating zoosexuality" may have a dozen active users with zetas in their bios but then only ban someone for it when there's drama. A platform that allows in thousands and thousands and thousands of works of erotic art and stories about ferals may decide to ban an artist when their out-of-character talk about animals on a completely different platform becomes a little too real and loud for their taste. Different furry platforms may proclaim to have different philosophies when it comes to feral/bestiality/zoo, and when things are going smoothly, those philosophies are adhered to. But at the end of the day, most furry platforms are very prone to making decisions based on perceived social pressures if they think push is about to come to shove.
Ninety nine times out of a hundred, you'll be fine being zooey in these places, if not directly openly then at least vis a vis gushing over feral art. I would just recommend maybe setting up shop in two or three of these places rather than one, if you intend for your zooiness to be said aloud and unambiguous.
I know, I know, Forums and IRC are very different beasts, but I put them together for a reason. There isn't "the forum" in the same way that there is "Facebook." There isn't "IRC" in the same way that there is "Twitter." There are many thousands of forums, hosted by different people, about different topics, running their own flavors of forum software, catering to different interests. And, IRC is the same, but for chatrooms.
Are forums and IRC rooms zoo-friendly? I don't know! The ZooCommunity forum is probably pretty zoo friendly. Some woodworking forum you've been palling around in, hey who knows. I'd say you've got about the same odds as you would if this were a woodworking circle you met up with once a month in real life for bowling and beers. They might not really care. Or they might. But, in the vast expanse of the world wide web, there are places that aren't as filled with emotionally unfulfilled people as Twitter is. You don't strictly have to limit yourself to the major mainstream platforms. Setting up shop in a smaller place or two might be nice if it's your kind of thing.
Man, after all of this talk of the dos and don'ts and go-aheads and watch-outs of all of these platforms, what if we just decided, "Ah to hell with all of those! I'll make my own!"
Well hey, good news, you totally can! But there are still things you have to be careful about in this realm too, if you're planning to seed the next zoosexual social movement from your website by the power of your zooey webcomic.
For one thing, you can still be deplatformed. "What!" you say? Unfortunately, yes. Your website is going to need someone to host it. Even if that's not a well known mainstream company name like Facebook, it's probably still going to be a company all the same, like HostGator or AWS; they too have the potential ability to decide they don't want your content provided through their services. It could also be possible to encounter trouble from the domain name registrar and from whatever software your website is actually built on if it's not open source.
But the good news about self hosting is, we have a lot more options. If we want to have an engaging Twitter account, but then that account gets banned off Twitter, welp, good game, end of the line, we have to throw in the towel on that one. But if we want to have an engaging website, and our host says "Hey pack up your shit you can't be on our services anymore," we can just say to them "lol ok I'll go to one of these other one thousand webhosts, one sec."
Overall, having your own website for zoo stuff, whether you want to park a forum on it or whether you just want to put up your own blog or artwork, it's not a bad way to go. It's certainly less prone to the whims of capricious admins TikTok would be. It just If you don't know much about web stuff, ask around, there are a lot of zoos who can get you hooked up.
Well isn't this a curious one to end on?
Not very zoo friendly, for a few reasons. The nuts and bolts of it are basically that your content can be removed very easily from Reddit, through a variety of mechanisms, and it's usually unclear what why or how it happened. You could have your comment, post, or entire account be banned one day and not get a message saying what happened. For comments and posts, sometimes it was a passing algorithm that removed it, sometimes a fellow user who happens to run the you were posting on, or sometimes an admin who is a staff member of Reddit the company. But in any case, Reddit is pretty zoo-intolerant, and you are not given the tools to stand your ground.
But here's the interesting thing, and the only reason Reddit is even in this article. I think we should talk about how Reddit used to handle zooey content, because it's a good example of zoos having a seemingly very stable platform, then one day the company that owns the platform announces it has changed its mind about their policies, and in short order this platform that recently seemed stable now vanishes.
Indeed, I saved Reddit for last for a reason. This one will take a while, because it's story time now. Lean back. Settle in.
This may sound surprising if you weren't there to see it, but Reddit used to allow bestiality porn. n a C-list mainstream social media platform, multiple pages you could visit to see videos of humans various kinds of animals. These weren't just a fluke that existed for a month with no views before admins noticed and shut these places down: these pages existed for quite a while, had more-than-ignorable engagement numbers, and saw users regularly posting and commenting.
Besides the porn pages, there was also another page that was strictly for zoosexual discussion, and as part of that page's rules, porn was not allowed. Words only. As a platform that seemed to pride itself on intellectual discussion and free exchange of ideas, a page that zoos could talk on made complete sense, and it went on for over half a decade.
At some point, Reddit as a company seemed to want to "clean up their act." Maybe they were becoming more popular and realized they could be in hot water for allowing the kinds of content they were allowing; certainly, there were much more grim things than bestiality porn in the dark alcoves of that website at the time. And so, sure: I'm glad they made an effort to clean up the irl gore, for example, and maybe someone else was glad they were getting rid of those hairy pages that mae them uncomfortable to be confronted by the fact that mares are female and have the anatomy to prove it.
But the page that they also shut down, within those first few sweeps of banning bad-looking pages, was the zoosexuality page that was discussion-only. Here was a platform that, in the past, had prided itself on giving its users freedom to speak and stand up for what they believe to be the truth. This was the ethos of the founders and the culture of many users who found themselves there. The zoosexual discussion page was nothing other than that. No seedy animal hookup thread, no hidden room of donkey butt pics if you entered in a secret code. Just talking. Just talking among people who happened to have a sexuality that, at the time wasn't even demonized as much as it is on Twitter today, but at worst sometimes made people go, "What? Ew," and then move on with their day. But Reddit is a company, and as the needs of the business changed, they were deaf to all users across the entire platform as they decided which communities they were going to pretend had never existed.
As it became clear what direction things were going in, there was a scramble on the zoo discussion page to try to find somewhere else to migrate the community to. But, the community en-masse never did migrate anywhere, to my knowledge. I know some stayed in touch, whether by already being in other forums together, or by maintaining correspondence individually. I know some disappeared only to resurface years later on some other now-zoo-friendly platform. I know some disappeared into the crowd of the internet and have never been seen again.
So, the moral of this History Of Zoosexuality On Reddit, and the broader point to this article as a whole, is keep your ear to the ground. There are challenges to being part of a community that can get kicked off of any given platform without much justification needed and without too many people batting an eye when it happens. But stay defiant. As social animals, having our own communities is important. Speaking our own voice is important. Things change, but when they do, it pays to know where else you have footing available, how to keep in touch with friends, and where the next place is that you can go to be yourself.
Questions, comments or concerns? Check out the discussion thread on ZooCommunity, or join our Discord server!