NEW YORK — A Russian-based provider cut web protection services to Kiwi Farms on Monday, becoming the second provider in two days to drop the notorious harassing and harassing site and make it inaccessible on the public internet.
DDoS-Guard said it doesn’t have to decide whether sites break laws and normally only restricts access to a site in cases such as receiving a court order. The company said it acted this time, however, after receiving “multiple” complaints.
“After analyzing the site’s content, we have decided to terminate DDoS protection services” for a version of the Kiwi Farms site with a Russian .ru domain name, the company said. The .ru site, registered in mid-July, was working intermittently after Cloudfare cut services on Saturday.
The site, created and operated by 29-year-old Joshua Conner Moon, has been a rallying point for the vicious harassment and doxxing of transgender people, feminists and people of color.
The taking Kiwi Farms – both providers protect websites against distributed denial of service and other attacks – offline followed a fierce outrage campaign led by Canadian transgender Twitch streamer Clara Sorrenti.
Cloudfare CEO Matthew Prince said in a blog post on Saturday that he was troubled by the free speech implications of the effective removal of Kiwi Farms, an about-face after defending earlier in the week his decision not to cut the forum. But he said the escalation of targeted threats to the site was creating an “immediate threat to human life” on a scale his company had never seen.
The California-based company has helped protect far-right sites in the past, although it dropped neo-Nazi site Daily Stormer as a client in 2017 after a protester was killed by a marauding motorist during a a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. In 2019, he did the same on the troll forum 8chan after a racist screed was posted on its pages by the man who killed 23 people at an El Paso Walmart.
Sorrenti, who goes by “Keffals” online, launched her campaign in August, but relentless doxxing and other harassment forced her to flee her home in Canada last month. However, the online stalkers did not let go and followed her to Northern Ireland, intensifying their harassment.
On Monday, Sorrenti tweeted that she would have a final update on the campaign against Kiwi Farms.
“We won,” she said.
It was unclear if Kiwi Farms would find a new home or if its users might start congregating on a new forum.
Posting to Telegram on Monday, Moon said the site won’t be up and running for at least a week while he deals with a family emergency. He said the site’s prospects were poor, although Cloudflare gave him a way to register his .net domain elsewhere.
Moon said the IP addresses he controls were at risk of being revoked by Australia, however. They would allow it to self-host, but it would still need internet connectivity and protection against DDoS attacks.
“I don’t see a situation where Kiwi Farms is simply allowed to operate,” Moon wrote. “It will either become a fractured shell of itself, like 8chan, or a hop between hosts and domain names like Daily Stormer.”
Moon provided a dark web address, accessible through the Tor browser. A site was not in place, however. A message told me that it had been disconnected.