Internet infrastructure company Cloudflare on Saturday said it’s blocking Kiwi Farms, a message board known for organizing harassment campaigns. Cloudflare cited an “unprecedented emergency and immediate threat to human life” as the reason for its actions.
“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,” Matthew Prince, Cloudflare CEO and co-founder, said in a blog post.
Attempts to visit Kiwi Farms are now met with a message that says the site is blocked and directs people to the blog post from Cloudflare.
Kiwi Farms didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about the site being blocked. The forum founder Josh Moon said on Telegram Monday, “I do not see a situation where the Kiwi Farms is simply allowed to operate.”
Kiwi Farms is a hate-filled message forum that started as an offshoot of 4chan, the infamous anonymous image board. It was initially called “the CWCki” when it began around 2007 and at the time was dedicated to the harassment of a single online personality, according to a New York Magazine article from 2016. The forum switched its name to Kiwi Farms in 2014.
“Kiwi Farms has been the locus of numerous mass harassment campaigns, some of which have ended in doxing or swatting or even in the target committing suicide,” said Daniel Kelly, director of strategy and operations at the ADL’s Center for Technology and Society.
Doxxing is when a person’s private information, such as their address and phone number, is posted online without their permission. Swatting involves fake calls made to the police that can lead to an armed response at a targeted person’s home.
Posts on Kiwi Farms frequently target members of the LGBTQ community, specifically transgender people. At least three people have died by suicide after harassment campaigns tied to Kiwi Farms, according to The Washington Post.