March 2, 2024
Internet service provider Cloudflare announced that it has dropped the controversial forum Kiwi Farms just days after promising that it would not take such action.

Internet service provider Cloudflare announced that it has dropped the controversial forum Kiwi Farms just days after promising that it would not take such action.

Cloudflare provides websites protection from distributed denial-of-service attacks, malicious and illegal attempts to disrupt the normal traffic of a server by overwhelming a target with a flood of internet traffic. For weeks, the popular and controversial transgender streamer known as Keffals has been trying to get Cloudflare to drop Kiwi Farms, blaming it for a recent “swatting,” or calling of law enforcement to her address, that caused the streamer to flee the country. Although Cloudfare had adamantly refused to drop Kiwi Farms as a client, after threats “escalated” over previous days, the internet service provider decided to cut off Kiwi Farms from its services, opening it back up to DDoS attacks, which would effectively take the website off the internet.

Cloudflare released a statement on Wednesday defending its decision not to drop Kiwi Farms.

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“Some argue that we should terminate these services to content we find reprehensible so that others can launch attacks to knock it offline. That is the equivalent argument in the physical world that the fire department shouldn’t respond to fires in the homes of people who do not possess sufficient moral character. Both in the physical world and online, that is a dangerous precedent, and one that is over the long term most likely to disproportionately harm vulnerable and marginalized communities,” the statement said.

Cloudflare abruptly reversed its position on Saturday, citing “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.”

Since being dropped from Cloudflare, Kiwi Farms has apparently moved to Russian servers.

“The American based Internet forum Kiwi Farms, responsible for the suicides of at least 3 of its stalking and harassment targets, just switched to Russian servers. They could easily become an increased threat of domestic terror here:” retired FBI Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi tweeted.

Users in the United States are currently blocked from visiting the website, being shown a notification screen with a link to a blog post explaining what happened.

IMG_8275.png Kiwi Farms
American users attempting to access Kiwi Farms are met with this screen
Screenshot of Kiwi Farms

The debate over Cloudflare dropping Kiwi Farms became a hot-button issue in the realm of free speech in recent weeks. Supporters of the drop argued that Kiwi Farms is a dangerous website used to dox, harass, and stalk people.

“Kiwi Farms’ goal is a world where LGBTQ users are not going to be as out and open on social media— they’re going to live in fear of threats and harassment,” Clara “Keffals” Sorretini said, according to NBC correspondent Ben Collins. “Something like Kiwi Farms could be utilized by people with a lot more resources to do a lot more harm.”

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Opponents of the drop argued that it would result in a slippery slope that would bring unprecedented censorship on the internet.

“Should we let people like Keffals dictate what we get to say on the internet? F*** no … Where are you going to go, what’re you going to say? You’re going to be muzzled like we’re all muzzled on every social media platform and every streaming platform,” argued popular streamer and commentator Mister Metokur. “And it’s not even going to be that small nudge towards not saying certain words. It’s going to devolve into every place becoming like Twitch, where even if something is said that isn’t directed at anybody, but it’s an opinion they don’t like, you’re gone. If you behave off platform in a way they don’t like, you’re gone.”

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