The Notorious Kiwi Farms Is Back Online

On Sept. 3, internet services provider Cloudflare announced that it was terminating its business relationship with Kiwi Farms, a website with a reputation for fomenting harassment campaigns and fostering an environment of hate. The decision came after weeks of social media pressure led by one of the site’s targets: a trans Twitch streamer named Clara “Keffals” Sorrenti, who was the victim of escalating targeted harassment after her personal information was posted on Kiwi Farms.

Citing “an unprecedented emergency and immediate threat to human life,” Cloudflare blocked the site from its servers, effectively dismantling its infrastructure and forcing it offline. The #DropKiwiFarms campaign declared victory. “We won,” Sorrenti tweeted two days later. “Kiwi Farms is dead.”

However, six weeks later, Kiwi Farms is back up and running on its original URL. Although the extremist site faltered on its way back to the clearnet (a term for the publicly accessible internet) — a number of security service providers and hosts refused to do business with Kiwi Farms — it appears to have been steadily online for nearly a week as of press time. And its owner, Joshua “Null” Moon, seems determined to keep it that way based on the regular website status updates he posts on Telegram, which detail, among other things, multiple distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and a hack of the website’s user data.

The 12-year-old Kiwi Farms is a proudly offensive, hate speech–laden message board that dedicates a large swath of its site to tracking the lives of, and making abusive commentary about, those it deems worthy of mockery. These individuals are dubbed “lolcows,” and they are “milked” for content. Many of the site’s favorite targets are neurodivergent people, individuals with disabilities and/or mental illness, and members of the LGBTQ community — particularly transgender men and women, who are referred to as “troons” by Kiwi Farms denizens.

The site, which was dubbed “the web’s biggest community of stalkers” in a 2016 New York magazine article, is notorious for doxxing its targets in threads, posting sensitive data (including contact information) about the individual in question and, often, about their family members and employers. These repositories of personal information have for years made the site a one-stop shop for online bad actors wishing to engage in targeted harassment. The site has been linked to the suicides of three individuals; Moon has vehemently denied Kiwi Farms’ involvement in these deaths in multiple posts on the website.

Currently, the mood on Kiwi Farms is defiant and gleeful. “We’re back,” one user wrote on Sept. 27. “Cope and seethe.” Kiwi Farmers are currently updating the threads about the deplatforming campaign with memes mocking Sorrenti and commentary about — and criticism of — the many media outlets that covered the website’s “death.”

So where does this leave those that pushed for its deplatforming?