Vile trolling website Kiwi Farms finally shuts down due to ‘immediate threat to human life’
The axe has finally fallen on controversial far-right forum Kiwi Farms following continued campaigns to shut it down.
Network provider and host Cloudflare Inc blocked access to the forum after pressure from users due to their alleged involvement in the “swatting” of trans streamer Clara Sorrenti, better known as Keffals.
Swatting refers to the dangerous act of falsifying a police report to send armed officers to a place of residence for the sole purpose of threatening an individual. The tactic was used by Kiwi Farms users against Keffals due to her reputation as an LGBTQ+ activist who fought back against the notoriously disgusting behaviour of the forum.
In a statement on Saturday (3 September), Cloudflare co-founder Matthew Prince wrote: “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.
“However, the rhetoric on the Kiwi Farms site and specific, targeted threats have escalated over the last 48 hours to the point that we believe there is an unprecedented emergency and immediate threat to human life unlike we have previously seen from Kiwi Farms or any other customer before.”
Harassment against those who used #DropKiwiFarms to speak out against the forum’s actions skyrocketed during the campaign. Tactics such as doxxing – the leaking of private information, typically a home address and contact details, to the public – further swatting and death threats were rampant.
“If you don’t like racists, transphobes and misogynists getting away with turning killing people into a ‘Twitch plays Pokemon’ style mass participation computer game, say #DropKiwiFarms,” said one user.
“I want you to understand, this isn’t hyperbole,” another user emphasised. “Almost every trans person with any public profile at all is on that hell site. This is something we’ve all had to live with, in some cases for almost a decade, now.”
Indeed, the behaviour of Kiwi Farms users has led to long-term harassment of LGBTQ+ identifying people, particularly trans women. It has also brought certain creators to suicide, such as 31-year-old Chloe Sagal who set herself on fire in a Portland park after repeated harassment from the forum.
The site is also believed to be one of the main instigators behind the 2019 Christchurch shooting where a man killed 51 people in two New Zealand mosques. After pleading guilty, shooter and white supremacist Brenton Tarrant was sentenced to life imprisonment. Crown prosecutor Barnaby Hawes said the killer’s goal was to “inflict as many fatalities as possible”.
Despite these horrible acts for which Kiwi Farms was partly responsible for provoking, Sorrenti said the #DropKiwiFarms campaign had driven the most amount of awareness according to Google search statistics.
“Our campaign has officially made more people aware and outraged about Kiwi Farms than at any point in the website’s history,” she wrote in a tweet, linking to Google search traffic statistics.
After repeated attempts to bring back the site by trying to switch to Russian domains, founder Joshua Moon admitted defeat in the group’s Telegram chat where he said: “In my life, there is a family emergency. It has absolutely nothing to do with the forum drama. I cannot and will not elaborate further.
“I do not see a situation where Kiwi Farms is simply allowed to operate. It will either become a fractured shell of itself, like 8chan, or jump between hosts and domain names like Daily Stormer,” Moon continued.
Moon also detailed several attempts to find new hosts, all of which seemingly fell through. In likelihood, this is due to the reputation that the site has garnered over the past month.