>>She was never a "symbol of love and compassion," that was something entirely made up by other people, more or less against her wishes.
Here it is, in her own words. Instead of "Love and Compassion", I would use the more precise term "Kindness", but that's splitting hairs. I doubt that Boxxy was originally intended as a symbol of anything, but I know that's what she came to mean to me. And being treated so unkindly by so many may have brought catie to a an appreciation of this aspect of Boxxy's appeal.
More than that, I remember being fascinated by the way some of the meanest people on the web, the same people who had been ruining it for everyone for so long, reacted to Boxxy like a vampire might react to a faceful of holy water. For me, that was the beginning.
It was awesome, but of course, it led to using Boxxy as a trolling weapon against the horrible people in /b/ and that had consequences for the girl behind the eyeliner. Luckily, she turned out to be wise, forgiving, courageous Catie Wayne.
This was, I believe, just before FOAR EVERYPONY. Back then, I wondered if Catie was trying to associate MLP as the successor to Boxxy because she was aware that, as an icon of kindness, MLP has the advantage of not being vulnerable to stalking, hacking, doxxing, etc.