- Security firm Cloudflare on Saturday dropped a site known for hosting harassment campaigns from its service.
- Though Cloudflare faced pressure to drop Kiwi Farms for its content, CEO Matthew Prince hadn’t planned to do so.
- Since public pressure began, Kiwi Farms users became “more threatening,” prompting the ban, Prince told WaPo.
Security firm Cloudflare on Saturday removed from its service the website Kiwi Farms, known for hosting relentless online harassment campaigns, after a surge in users making credible violent threats.
Earlier this week, the security firm detailed its intent to keep providing security services to Kiwi Farms, despite a public pressure campaign to remove what Cloudflare called its “revolting content” — including harassment and doxxings that have been linked to at least three suicides.
Kiwi Farms users frequently target women and transgender users.
Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince told The Washington Post the reversal came not as a response to public pressure, but due to increased threatening activity on the Kiwi Farms site.
“As Kiwi Farms has felt more threatened, they have reacted by being more threatening,” Prince told The Washington Post. “We think there is an imminent danger, and the pace at which law enforcement is able to respond to those threats we don’t think is fast enough to keep up.”
He added that contributors to the site were posting the home addresses of people viewed as “enemies” of Kiwi Farms and called for them to be shot.
“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 emergency and immediate threat to human life we have previously seen from Kiwifarms or any other customer before,” read a CloudFlare blog post about the decision to block the site.
The Kiwi Farms site is currently blocked, with a message presented to visitors which reads: “Due to an imminent and emergency threat to human life, the content of this site is blocked from being accessed through Cloudflare’s infrastructure.”
Should the Kiwi Farms site secure new service providers, it may return online.
“To be clear, it is not an effective or long-term solution for an infrastructure provider to take this action,” A spokesperson for Cloudflare told Insider. “We believe we need better legal mechanisms across society to ensure protection of those who come under threat of violence online.”
Representatives for Kiwi Farms did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.