Kiwi Farms, an internet cesspit that has birthed countless hate campaigns over the last decade, has finally had concrete action taken against it after internet security provider Cloudflare essentially took the site offline.
Last month trans political commentator and streamer Clara “Keffals” Sorrenti was forced to flee her home after threats originating from users of the site, which led to the creation of the hashtag #DropKiwifarms, which was an attempt to target Cloudflare—the provider of security for the forum—and convince them to drop support for the site.
While Cloudflare was initially reluctant to budge on the issue, they relented last week and blocked Kiwi Farms, while going to great lengths to explain in a blog post that the move was down to “specific, targeted threats” and not the immense public relations backlash related to the company’s continued support of a forum that existed solely to percolate the very darkest impulses of the internet’s worst people:
We are also not taking this action directly because of the pressure campaign. While we have empathy for its organizers, we are committed as a security provider to protecting our customers even when they run deeply afoul of popular opinion or even our own morals.
It’s a welcome move, but also, that is some bullshit! Cloudflare’s Matthew Prince also says in his blog post that “This is an extraordinary decision for us to make and, given Cloudflare’s role as an Internet infrastructure provider, a dangerous one that we are not comfortable with”. There is no such thing as an apolitical systems provider. I cannot believe he is having to be told this. It’s incredible that Cloudflare have managed to somehow do the right thing in the worst way possible.
With its security revoked, the site is basically inaccessible at time of posting, and anyone trying to visit Kiwi Farms will be met with the following message:
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In the wake of Cloudflare’s move, a number of other developments have taken place surrounding the site’s future. hCaptcha, provider of the forum’s captcha security, have also suspended Kiwi Farms, saying the site’s hateful and violent content violates their terms:
Meanwhile Frank Figliuzzi, a National Security Analyst for NBC and former Assistant Director of the FBI, reports Kiwi Farms has since migrated to Russian servers, and says users “could easily become an increased threat of domestic terror”:
In response to Cloudflare’s belated move, the #DropKiwifarms team issued a statement which reads:
THE BATTLE IS WON, BUT THE WAR IS NOT OVER.
SEPTEMBER 3RD, 2022
Today Cloudflare has dropped the notorious far-right hate forum Kiwi Farms. As CEO Matthew Prince has noted, threats against human life have been escalating in the last 48 hours on the website, and happening in a much faster manner than law enforcement is able to keep up with. Kiwi Farms has been around for over a decade, and at no point in the site’s history have they come under this much fire. This is a historical moment where thousands of people have stood up and taken a stance against online harassment and hate.
We’re happy with the decision that Cloudflare came to, and this deals a big blow to Kiwi Farms and their community, one they may never recover from. But that doesn’t mean we should rest on our laurels. While we should celebrate today, this may not be the end of their community. We have shown that when united together we are capable of moving mountains, and if we continue to stand together and fight back, we can see this until the end.
As long as websites like Kiwi Farms remain active we’ll keep fighting. Fiberhub, a company based in Las Vegas, is where the servers that host Kiwi Farms are located and serviced. If Kiwi Farms ever becomes active again, we must apply the same pressure to FiberHub that we did to Cloudflare, otherwise the website will return online and be operational in the foreseeable future.
We should celebrate all of our hard work. We did what no one else could. However, this is not the end. If we want to see the end of Kiwi Farms and communities like theirs, we must continue fighting.
— Drop Kiwi Farms Campaign