2 suppliers sever ties with the Kiwi Farms site

SAN FRANCISCO — A Russia-based provider cut web protection services to Kiwi Farms on Monday, becoming the second provider in two days to abandon the site and make it inaccessible on the public Internet.

“After analyzing the content of the site, we have decided to terminate DDoS protection services” for a version of the Kiwi Farms site with a Russian .ru domain name, D-DoS-Guard said. The .ru site, registered in mid-July, was working intermittently after Cloudfare cut services on Saturday.

Cloudfare cited an “immediate threat to human life” in its decision to remove the site from its internet security services after an online campaign launched by transgender Twitch streamer Clara Sorrenti.

“This is an extraordinary decision for us to make and given Cloudflare’s role as an internet infrastructure provider, a dangerous role that we are not comfortable with,” CEO Matthew Prince wrote in a post. blog post on Saturday in an about-face after earlier insisting that the company would not block the site. “However, the rhetoric on the Kiwifarms site and the specific and targeted threats have escalated over the past 48 hours to the point where we believe there is an unprecedented urgency and immediate threat to human life contrary to what we’ve seen before from Kiwifarms or any other customer before.”

For years, members of the site created and operated by Joshua Conner Moon, 29, have congregated on what they call a ‘lightweight chat room’ to, critics say, harass transgender people, feminists and others . Among the tactics they are accused of are pooling personal data such as addresses and phone numbers of victims in a practice called “doxxing”, and spreading rumors and targeting workplaces, friends, families and homes.

Sorrenti led a campaign to pressure Cloudflare to drop Kiwi Farms. In August, she said she fled her home in Canada for Europe after being harassed by the site. Her online stalkers, however, found her in Belfast, Ireland, where she said they continued their campaign.

“When a multi-billion dollar company like Cloudflare has to drop Kiwi Farms due to an ‘imminent and urgent threat to human life,’ it’s no longer a matter of free speech. Remove Kiwi Farms from The internet is a matter of public safety for every person online,” she tweeted on Saturday.

The decision to abandon Kiwi Farms on Saturday was a U-turn for Cloudflare and Prince, who earlier in the week published a 2,600-word blog post – without mentioning the site by name – doubling down on the decision to protect it and comparing Cloudflare to a phone company that “doesn’t terminate your line if you say horrible, racist, bigoted things.”

But Sorrenti and other targets on the site say it was far worse than that, as the site’s trolls relentlessly pursued their victims offline, often for years.

“They’re trying to make people lose their jobs. They’re trying to make people lose their homes and go hungry and homeless,” said Liz Fong-Jones, a former Google engineer and cloud computing expert. transgender. AP last week.

Lava lamps are seen through a lobby window at Cloudflare’s headquarters in San Francisco, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022. Citing “imminent danger,” Cloudflare removed notorious bullying and harassment site Kiwi Farms from its services from internet security. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Photo Cloudflare’s corporate headquarters are seen in San Francisco, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022. Citing “imminent danger,” Cloudflare has removed notorious harassment and harassment site Kiwi Farms from its internet security services. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Amanda J. Marsh