Anti-trans trolling website finally shuts down

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Clara Sorrenti, also known as Keffals, was the subject of a run over attack by Kiwi Farms. (Hao Nguyen/Getty)

The ax has finally fallen on the controversial far-right Kiwi Farms forum following ongoing campaigns to shut it down.

Network provider and host Cloudflare Inc blocked access to the forum after pressure from users over 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 his reputation as an LGBTQ+ activist who fought back against the forum’s notoriously disgusting behavior.

In a statement released Saturday, September 3, 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 decision that we are not comfortable with.

“However, the rhetoric on the Kiwi Farms 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 Kiwi Farms or any other customer before.

Harassment against those who used #DropKiwiFarms to expose the forum’s actions skyrocketed during the campaign. Tactics such as doxxing – leaking private information, usually a home address and contact details, to the public – other crushes and death threats were commonplace.

“If you don’t like racists, transphobes and misogynists getting away with turning killers into a ‘Twitch plays Pokemon’ style mass participation computer game, say #DropKiwiFarms,” ​​said an user.

“I want you to understand, this is not hyperbole,” another user underline. “Almost every trans person with any public profile is on this hellish site. It’s something we’ve all had to live with, in some cases for almost a decade now.

Indeed, the behavior of Kiwi Farms users has led to long-term harassment of LGBTQ+-identifying people, especially trans women. She also pushed some creators to suicide, like the 31-year-old Chloe Sagal who set herself on fire in a Portland park after being repeatedly harassed by the forum.

The site is also believed to be a key instigator of the 2019 Christchurch shootings where a the man killed 51 people in two New Zealand mosques. After pleading guilty, gunman and white supremacist Brenton Tarrant was sentenced to life imprisonment. Crown prosecutor Barnaby Hawes said the killer’s aim was “to inflict as many deaths as possible”.

Despite these horrific acts for which Kiwi Farms was partly responsible for the provocation, Sorrenti said the #DropKiwiFarms campaign has generated the most awareness according to Google search statistics.

“Our campaign has officially brought awareness and outrage to Kiwi Farms more people than at any time in the website’s history,” she wrote in a post. Tweeterlink to Google search traffic statistics.

After repeated attempts to bring the site back trying to move 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 do not want to elaborate further.

“I don’t see a situation where Kiwi Farms is just allowed to operate. It will either become a fractured shell of itself, like 8chan, or a hop between hosts and domain names like Daily Stormer,” Moon continued.

Moon also detailed several attempts to find new hosts, all of which apparently failed. This is likely due to the reputation the site has gained over the past month.

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