Kiwi Farms flees to Russia after Cloudflare takes site offline

Cockroach

Photo: GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT (Getty Images)

Kiwi Farms, an internet cesspool that has spawned countless hate campaigns over the past decade, finally took concrete action against it after internet security provider Cloudflare essentially took the site offline.

Last month, Political commentator and trans streamer Clara “Keffals” Sorrenti was forced to flee her home after threats from users of the sitewhich led to the creation of the hashtag #DropKiwifarms. This was an attempt to target Cloudflare, the forum’s security provider, and convince it to drop support for the site.

While Cloudflare was initially reluctant to budge on the issue, they relented last week and blocked Kiwi Farms. At the same time they went to lots of details to explain in a blog post that they were “specific and targeted threats,and not the huge PR backlash tied to the company’s continued support of a forum that only existed to broadcast the darkest impulses of the internet’s worst people:

Nor do we act 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 go deeply against popular opinion or even our own morals.

It’s a welcome gesture, but also, it’s bullshit! Cloudflare’s Matthew Prince also says in his blog post this, “This is an extraordinary decision for us to make and, given Cloudflare’s role as an internet infrastructure provider, a dangerous decision that we are not comfortable with.” There is no such thing as an apolitical system provider. I can’t believe we have to tell him that. It’s amazing that Cloudflare managed to do the right thing in the worst possible way.

With its security revoked, the site is virtually inaccessible at the time of publication, and anyone trying to visit Kiwi Farms will receive the following message:

Image from article titled Hate Forum Kiwi Farms flees to Russian servers after Cloudflare takes site offline

Screenshot: Cloudy

Following Cloudflare’s move, a number of other developments have taken place around the future of the site. hCaptcha, the forum’s security captcha provider, has also suspended Kiwi Farms, claiming that the site’s hateful and violent content violates their terms:

Meanwhile, Frank Figliuzzi, National Security Analyst for NBC and former FBI Deputy Director, reports that Kiwi Farms has since migrated to Russian servers and says users “could easily become an increased threat of domestic terrorism”:

In response to Cloudflare’s late move, the #DropKiwifarms team issued a statement which reads:

THE BATTLE IS WON, BUT THE WAR IS NOT OVER.

SEPTEMBER 3, 2022

Today, Cloudflare dropped the notorious far-right hate forum Kiwi Farms. As noted by CEO Matthew Prince, threats to human life have escalated over the past 48 hours on the website and have occurred much faster than law enforcement is able to track. Kiwi Farms has been around for over a decade, and at no time in the site’s history have they been criticized so much. It’s a historic moment when thousands of people have stood up and taken a stand against online harassment and hate.

We are pleased with the decision Cloudflare has made, and it is a blow to Kiwi Farms and their community that they may never recover from. But that doesn’t mean we should rest on our laurels. While we should be celebrating today, it may not be the end of their community. We have shown that when united we are able to move mountains, and if we keep sticking together and fighting we can see it through to the end.

As long as websites like Kiwi Farms remain active, we will keep fighting. Fiberhub, a Las Vegas-based company, is where the servers that host Kiwi Farms are located and maintained. If Kiwi Farms ever becomes active again, we need to apply the same pressure on FiberHub that we put on Cloudflare or the website will come back online and be operational for the foreseeable future.

We should celebrate all our hard work. We did what no one else could do. However, this is not the end. If we want to see the end of Kiwi Farms and communities like theirs, we must keep fighting.

– Drop Kiwi Farms Campaign

Amanda J. Marsh