After several weeks of pressure, the American company Cloudflare finally announced, on Saturday, September 3, its decision to block the forum called Kiwi Farms a few days after explaining that it did not intend to do so. Kiwi Farms is behind a wave of harassment against Canadian streamer and transgender activist Clara “Keffals” Sorrenti, who was forced by violent attacks against her to flee her own home.
The company blocked access to Kiwi Farms content through its infrastructure after honest rhetoric and “Precise and targeted threats” in the past forty-eight hours, its chief executive said in a statement. Matthew Prince also added:
“This is an extraordinary decision for us to make and, given Cloudflare’s role as an Internet infrastructure provider, a dangerous decision we are not comfortable with. “
Even if we believe “that it would have been appropriate as an infrastructure provider for us pending legal proceedings, in which case the imminent and urgent threat to human life that continues to intensify leads us to take this action”, Matteo Prince added.
Even more aggressive users after the campaign
Users of the site have become even more aggressive after the internet campaign to pressure service providers to block it, Cloudflare’s chief executive said, adding that in the past couple of weeks the company has contacted law enforcement in addition. jurisdictions regarding “Potential criminal acts and imminent threats to human life that have been published on the site”.
It all started on August 5, when Keffals, who rose to prominence on the Twitch platform with video game streams, fell victim to a squash. This practice consists in making the police believe that serious facts are taking place at the victim’s address, so that the police and more particularly the SWAT (the American GIGN) go there. Keffals found herself under fire for no reason at her home in London, Ontario, and “bad sex” on numerous occasions – the anonymous message that the police who voluntarily used his previous marital status have on his trail.
After recounting this first evidence in a video posted on August 9 on YouTube, the videographer and her boyfriend are the subject of a second attack, as their stalkers were able to identify the hotel in which they had taken refuge thanks to a simple photo of their cat on a bed. Since then, as Clara Sorrenti tells in a second video published on August 18, the couple have lived “in a secret place”. He accuses the members of the Kiwi Farms forum, considered by the New York Magazine how “the largest stalker community on the web of having made his address public – a practice known as doxing. It also turns out to be the subject of a hate campaign “for many months” and say “Fear an escalation of violence in the future in [s]we position “.
“Go to the kiwi farms”
Kiwi Farms’ origins date back to 2007 on 4Chan. Members of this forum specialize in teasing, bullying, and pushing internet users to their limits, especially transgender people, overweight people, or people with Asperger’s syndrome. At least one person targeted by Kiwi Farms committed suicide in 2016, he recalled at the time. New York Magazine. The forum members disclaim all responsibility and have since continued to harass many people they consider themselves to be “eccentric”.
Using the hashtags #DropKiwiFarms, #TimesUpCloudFlare and #CloudflareProtectsTerrorists on Twitter, among others, Keffals and his supporters urged Cloudflare to stop offering its services to Kiwi Farms. After being silent for about ten days, Cloudflare finally reacted in a blog post on August 31st. Without citing the Keffals case or any other pending case, Matthew Prince and Alissa Starzak, CEO and Head of Public Affairs respectively, delved into their company’s policy on abuse, reaffirming the neutrality they have always affirmed:
“In the same way that a telephone operator does not cancel your subscription because you have said horrible, racist or bigoted things, we have concluded (…) that you are blocking access to our services because we think your publication is despicable is not the way right to go. “
Over the past decade, Kiwi Farms has been linked to multiple attacks by doxing you hate squash. At least two people committed suicide after being targeted by Kiwi Farms users, according to messages from the same victims or friends quoted in the news.
In a statement released on Saturday, Clara Sorrenti said this decision “Deals a severe blow to Kiwi Farms ea [sa] Community “.
“However, this is not the end. If we want to see the end of Kiwi Farms and communities like theirs, we have to keep fighting. “