Cloudflare blocks stalker forum over ‘acute threat to life’

Cloudflare has blocked access to the Kiwi Farms website. The company does not host the website, but provides security services. Cloudflare does not normally block websites, but sees the website as an “acute emergency and imminent threat to life”.

In a statement, Cloudflare . writes that it decided last Sunday to block Kiwi Farms. According to Cloudflare, the targeted threats and rhetoric on the site in the 48 hours leading up to the blockade have escalated sufficiently to warrant the blockade. The company further acknowledges that the site may come back online if it moves to another provider. The landing page currently states that “Due to an immediate and acute threat to human life, the content of this site is not accessible through Cloudflare’s infrastructure.”

Cloudflare initially did not want to get involved in whether an individual website it provides services for should be blocked. It also writes that in his policy description. “Just like the phone company won’t cut your line if you say horrible, racist, bigoted things, […] We think it’s wrong policy to shut down security services because we think you’re posting despicable things.”

Cloudflare has made exceptions to this policy in the past, although that doesn’t happen often. In 2019, 8chan was similarly taken down and in 2017 it was about The Daily Stormer. After those two incidents, Cloudflare says it has seen an increase in “authoritarian regimes that, with the same reasoning, request that security services to human rights organizations be stopped.” Cloudflare describes that as “deeply disturbing.” “Just because we’ve done that in a limited number of cases doesn’t mean we were right then, nor will we ever do it again.”

Kiwi Farms is an American internet forum that was founded in 2013. The site has become known for harassment from online personalities and communities. They would mainly focus on minorities, women, LGBT persons or neurodiverse persons. NBC writes for example, that Kiwi Farms users would have sought out a transgender Twitch streamer at her home and swatting would have done. The woman has gone into hiding and campaigned to get Cloudflare to drop the site. Multiple suicides are attributed to the platform’s stalkers.