Smashing rotten fruit is fun, as long as you’re not afraid of getting detritus all over your clothes. But do you know what’s even more fun? Try standing at a distance and watching two pieces of putrid produce repeatedly slam into each other until they’re nothing but a gross paste.
Vice first reported Friday on Jim Watkins’ making an offhand comment on a webcast mumbling that he was having issues with his own site 8kun because he had “purchased Kiwi Farms, which is why Venwa[Tech] is so busy now.” A clip of the webcast is up for view on the Kiwi Farms telegram channel.
So, as a refresher, Kiwi Farms, is a troll farm allegedly responsible for an incredible number of online harassment campaigns that led to people being run out of their homes and other extremely awful things. Well, one of their targets, trans woman and streamer Clara Sorrenti who goes by “Keffals” online and on her Twitch streams, fired back and formed an online campaign to get Cloudflare, which provided DDoS protection, and hCatpcha to drop the site.
After days of moving on from one transient online host to another, the web hosting platform most known for facilitating hate forums like The Daily Stormer and 8Kun, VanwaTech, confirmed it was now performing hosting duties. The thing is, Jim Watkins, an alt-right and QAnon figurehead who runs 8kun, apparently also has some affiliation with VanwaTech, helping to run its servers, according to Vice. 8kun, an offshoot and continuation of 8chan, is a haven for alt-right activity, conspiracy theorists, and hate-based rhetoric.
After VanwaTech began hosting services for Kiwi, all of its sites started suffering major outages thanks to consistent DDoS attacks, as repeatedly expressed by Telegram posts allegedly made by Josh Moon, the owner of Kiwi Farms. This has severely hurt the entirety of the alt-right online infrastructure, and has caused repeated outages on 8kun as well.
Which is where this all gets more complicated, since Watkins doesn’t much like Josh Moon, according to Vice’s reporting based on past comments made by the 8kun admin. When Moon heard about Watkins’ pronouncement about an apparent Kiwi sale, things got a little off the rails. In a Telegram post, the Kiwi Farms owner wrote:
“A confused old man believes he owns the Kiwi Farms for some reason. In case anyone is concerned: no, it’s not true.”
“To this evil person who accepted bitcoin from this elderly person and sold him a piece of napkin with ‘owner of Kiwi Farms’ written on it in crayon, you should be ashamed of yourself. It’s not fair to take advantage of our society’s most vulnerable.”
Moon has not had a good time since Cloudflare dropped his site. He’s scooted from one domain to another, from China to Russia and back home, but without DDoS protection his site keeps getting taken down.
The latest company to agree to offer Kiwi Farms DDoS protection DiamWall, wrote they were dropping the company after another online campaign. Hugo Carvalho, DiamWall CEO, wrote that his company “didn’t really know about their website’s content” when they first agreed to offer their services. They only later learned that “Kiwi Farms hosts a lot of revolting content.”
Since DiamWall decided to drop Kiwi, they’ve been reportedly review bombed by the trolls casting their hands out of the sewer lairs they’re currently dwelling in.
Well, it should become clear for any provider out there that Kiwi has become a hot potato so desiccated on the inside that catching it is just as likely to burn your hands as cover you in its rotten internals. In an interview with Ars Technica, Cloudflare global head of public policy Alissa Starzak said they finally decided to act and drop Kiwi once they saw “some things that were really direct threats, some very specific information about things that were planned.” The fact that the company wasn’t aware of just how bad things were at Kiwi signifies a kind of aloofness and naïveté that other mainstream internet companies best try and avoid.