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Cloudflare has blocked the transgender harassment forum Kiwi Farms due to an increase in 'targeted threats'

Photo by Matt Palmer / Unsplash

Cloudflare, a DNS and internet security provider, has blocked Kiwi Farms, an infamous forum known for its online and offline harassment campaigns. After initially resisting calls to stop protecting the website, CEO Matthew Prince announced the company's decision on Saturday.

"As Kiwi Farms became more threatened, they reacted by becoming more threatening," Prince told The Washington Post. "We believe there is an imminent threat, and we do not believe law enforcement is able to respond quickly enough to keep up." According to Prince's blog, Cloudflare has seen an increase in targeted threats "unlike we have previously seen from Kiwi Farms or any other customer."

Former 8chan administrator Joshua Moon founded Kiwi Farms in 2013. At least three suicides have been linked to harassment campaigns that began on the forum in the decade since it went online. Kiwi Farms has recently gained widespread attention on both sides of the US political spectrum. Trans Twitch streamer Clara Sorrenti launched a campaign to shut down Kiwi Farms after being the target of multiple swatting attacks that originated on the website. She used the hashtag DropKiwifarms to request that Cloudflare and other critical internet infrastructure providers discontinue serving the website.

"There are countless people who are suffering as a result of this website," Sorrenti told The Post on Saturday, moments after police arrived at her home in response to another swatting attempt. "Kiwi Farms is about hate speech, not free speech." The majority of the site's content consists of threads used for targeted harassment of political targets."

Separately, Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene called for the forum to be closed after a user claiming affiliation with Kiwi Farms summoned police to her home. "That website needs to be taken down," Greene said in an interview with Newsmax. "There should be no business or service where you can target your adversary."

It appeared earlier this week that Cloudflare would not take action against Kiwi Farms. On Wednesday, the company published a blog post outlining its policies regarding abusive content. Without mentioning the forum specifically, Prince and another executive argued that withholding security services from websites that the company and the general public find repugnant would ultimately harm oppressed and marginalized voices.

On Saturday, Prince called Cloudflare's decision to block Kiwi Farms "dangerous" and "uncomfortable." He told The Washington Post that he would have preferred to take action in response to a court order, but that it was a simpler decision than when Cloudflare decided to discontinue the Daily Stormer and 8chan. Kiwi Farms is still operational as of the writing of this story, having switched to DDoS-guard and a Russian domain.