When the online stalker haven Kiwi Farms was finally squeezed after years and years of harassment campaigns, the resulting sickly green, decomposing juices found their way into the outflowing sewer of the internet. Traveling miles and miles downstream in the few days since they were blocked by digital security providers Cloudflare, the decrepit, off-smelling Kiwi Farms has now flowed out into a lake full of similar refuse. It seems that on the internet, not even the already decayed may truly die.
Well—to reiterate in plain English—Kiwi Farms, the online forum and troll farm coined back in 2014 as an offshoot of 4chan, was renowned for spawning hate campaigns that targeted and harassed folks who drew the ire of the hate machine. After a successful pushback campaign, many of the site’s security hosts dropped Kiwi. After a few days of migrating on and then off Russian servers, Oregon Public Broadcasting confirmed late Monday that the Vancouver-based web firm VanwaTech was now taking over hosting duties for Kiwi.
The report confirmed tweets that showed Kiwi was now registered to a VanwaTech domain. The hosting service is already well known for facilitating online hate. It does hosting duties for the neo-Nazi centric The Daily Stormer and 8kun, which has long been linked to white supremacist and alt-right groups.
VanwaTech’s CEO Nick Lim told OPB that they were indeed doing hosting duties but reportedly declined to talk more about what kind of deal he struck between his hosting company and the internet cesspit that is Kiwi Farms. Joshua Moon, a former admin on 8chan, complained in a long Telegram screed “Journalists canonize the crimes as the behavior of the forum itself, which becomes the effective truth for the general public.”
Of course, shacking up with a hosting service renowned for supporting neo-Nazis and other recognized online hate group-laden forums does seem to put one in line with the rest of the worst parts of the internet. Lim himself has been cited in reports from the likes of Bloomberg for essentially being the back end tech support for white nationalists and the QAnon conspiracy.
The site transferred to a China-based hosting service but it’s now found a new domain on EPIK. Even though Kiwi Farms should be back online, the site is repeatedly going down. Using the site Isitdownrightnow shows that the domain is down and has been for nearly two hours, as of the time of reporting. Some users suggested the entire hosting network is being hit by a DDoS attack, which kinda does point to the difficulties that anybody hosting such a controversial network might find themselves under.
And though the site might be having a difficult time in this transient period, that doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t take long before the online stalker and harassment community regroups. Online users that these hate campaigns targeted include feminists, journalists, internet personalities, and whomever else dared put themselves out there on the internet.
Last month, the hate mongers found a target who finally managed to successfully organize pushback. Streamer Clara “Keffals” Sorrenti was targeted by the alt-right portions of Kiwi because of the fact she is transgender, and although she was forced to go into hiding to avoid actual threats to her person, she successfully campaigned for Cloudflare and captcha service hCaptcha to drop the site.
Other sites, like the Internet Archive—home of the Wayback Machine—also reportedly followed suit.
After initially seeming reluctant to move against the forum, Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince wrote that after the campaign to deplatform Kiwi Farms picked up steam “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.”