USENET newsgroup: News:alt.horror.werewolves
One of the oldest online places where Therian
s hung out. It has a history of being the place where Therianthropy
was most debated and is currently filled with USENET trolls who play skeptic.
Click here to view recent posts on AHWw
Addition by Coyote
It could be said that the online therian
community had it's genesis in alt.horror.werewolves back in the days when usenet newsgroups were popular, and website bulletin boards were largely a thing of the future.
The newsgroup was originally created for people to discuss werewolves in fiction, movies, and books in the horror genre. But eventually, someone (if I recall correctly, they went by oTTo), asked the ultimate question... how many people actually think of themselves in this way?
In the early days of therian-related discussion, as the newsgroup was co-opted by this topic, there was a lot of camaraderie, and openness. Many weres were thrilled at the idea that maybe they weren't crazy, and maybe they weren't alone.
Of course, this was an unmoderated forum, to which anyone could post whatever they wanted. That meant that people who just wanted to troll or create trouble could pop in and annoy people whenever they felt like it. And of course, people being people, the response was often endless flamewars and debates with these trolls. People are only learning today that the best way to handle trolls is to starve them.
There are people who think of the AHWw days as a sort of golden age. In some ways, perhaps it was, as it was the genesis of our community, and for a time, we remained innocent of the realities of a lot of very different people with different beliefs trying to communicate. There are others who revile the newsgroup as being variously too accepting of nonsense claims, or as being full of people who harassed anyone who differed with them, depending on when they arrived.
There was a time when it was a forum for open, honest, and vigorous discussion of therianthropy. But as the internet evolved and grew, and as various groups made it a battleground, it dropped into disuse, and has since been supplanted by various message boards and other communications forums and methods.