Internet infrastructure company Cloudflare on Saturday announced through its blog post that it’s blocking Kiwi Farms, a message board known for organizing harassment campaigns. Cloudflare mentioned an “unprecedented emergency and immediate threat to human life” for its actions.
Concerns about Kiwi Farms grew after transgender YouTuber and Twitch streamer Clara Sorrenti had been targeted by a perilous harassment campaign by users from the site.
Last month, Kiwi Farms users waged a dangerous attack against Sorrenti, otherwise known as the act of providing a false tip to police that someone’s planning on carrying out a violent crime, resulting in police swarming the victim’s home.
Those visiting Kiwi Farms will now see a message that says the site is blocked and directs people to the blog post from Cloudflare.
To the uninitiated, Kiwi Farms is a hate-filled message forum that started as an offshoot of 4chan, the infamous anonymous image board. Initially known as “the CWCki,” it began around 2007 and was committed to the harassment of a single online personality, according to a 2016 New York Magazine article. The forum switched its name to Kiwi Farms in 2014.
Sorrenti later went into hiding and started a #DropKiwifarms campaign that nudged Cloudflare to stop serving Kiwi Farms. Users across Twitter joined her campaign and shared the hashtag, some also revealing the harassment they’ve experienced at the hand of Kiwi Farms’ users.
We just blocked Kiwifarms. The threats on the site escalated enough in the last 48 hours that, in spite of proactively working with law enforcement, it became enough of an imminent emergency we could no longer wait for them to act. Details of our decision: https://t.co/xNnSXn65R6
— Matthew Prince 🌥 (@eastdakota) September 3, 2022
“The rhetoric on the Kiwifarms 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 Kiwifarms or any other customer before,” said Matthew Prince, Cloudflare CEO and co-founder, in a blog post titles ‘Blocking Kiwifarms.’
Prince also added that the decision to block Kiwi Farms wasn’t in response to the pressure campaign.
#DropKiwiFarms released a statement Saturday in response to Cloudflare’s action, saying it’s happy with the decision but doesn’t want to rest on its laurels.
“This deals a big blow to Kiwi Farms and their community, one they may never recover from. 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,” the statement said.
Posts on Kiwi Farms frequently target members of the LGBTQ community, specifically transgender people, and at least three people have committed suicide after harassment campaigns tied to Kiwi Farms, as reported by The Washington Post.
Kiwi Farms also had ties to the Christchurch mass shooter, who killed 51 people in 2019 at two New Zealand mosques, and has since been blocked in that country.
#DropKiwiFarms says this is not the end of their campaign. If Kiwi Farms becomes operational again, it will apply pressure on Firehub – a data center based in Las Vegas – where the Kiwi Farms server is located.