Photo by Karolina Kołodziejczak on Unsplash

Good Riddance To Kiwi Farms, Not Your Neighborhood Farmer

Kiwi Farms is finally gone, I hope, and I hope to never hear from your sick and hurtful voice again.

Ever been doxed or swatted? How about being viciously mocked online as a “troon” or being pushed to the brink of suicide by relentless trolls who live cynical, empty lives, virtually, on the Internet. Kiwi Farms does it all and more, or did it all.
Bullying used to be personal, the big kid who pushed you down on the playground and demanded milk money. Then it migrated to the Internet, where teenagers were cruelly harassed. The next generation of digital hate comes from something called Kiwi Farms and it is not an agricultural pursuit to grow natural kiwis.
Kiwi Farms, operated by one, Joshua “Null” Moon, an Alex Jones clone, is one of the most insidious websites on the Internet, believed responsible for a number of suicides while destroying the reputations of many more. Kiwi Farms spun off in 2013 from the anonymous-trolling forum 8chan, similiar to 4chan, the first site to spread the QAnon conspiracy. Moon also was a former developer for 8chan, a site that was known at the time for explicitly and by policy allowing discussions of paedophilia.
Kiwi Farms notoriety grew in March 2019, when it republished both the livestream and the manifesto of Brenton Tarrant, the mass killer of the 2019 Christchurch, New Zealand, mosque shootings. Shortly after, Moon denied a request by New Zealand Police to voluntarily hand over all data on posts about the shooting, including the email and IP addresses of posters. Kiwi Farms was one of several websites blocked by New Zealand Internet service providers after the attack.
Concerns over Kiwi Farms, 8chan and similar sites increased when five months later, 20 people were killed and two dozen more injured in a mass shooting near the Walmart and Cielo Vista shopping centers in El Paso, Texas. The shooter, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, posted a manifesto on 8chan in which he wrote about his hatred towards immigrant groups in the U.S., particularly towards Hispanics.
Kiwi Farms was created initially with the noble purpose of publicly mocking “lolcows,” defined as people who are easily embarrassed and exploited on the Internet. It then changed focus to people on the autism spectrum and transgender people. A note of explanation, “troons” is a nasty portmanteau of “tranny” and “goon.” Kiwi Farms has since branched out to be a platform dedicated to identifying and mocking many types of people, in fact, anyone that Kiwi Farmers got fixated on.
To accomplish its lofty purpose, Kiwi Farm invited doxing, the act of publishing private information on people, like phone numbers and home addresses, with the intent of inviting harassment, shaming, extorting or encouraging vigilantism. Some people claimed they posted as an act of “hacktivism,” a portmanteau of hack and activism that uses computer-based techniques as a form of civil disobedience to promote a political agenda or social change.
Doxing often presages swatting, a potentially deadly form of harassment in which a fake 911 call is made to police, claiming a victim allegedly is in grave danger. The word comes from the police SWAT team, short for special weapons and tactics, involving police specially trained to deal with dangerous incidents.
Swatting was in the news last month when police responded to a bogus 911 call of a person shot multiple times at the home of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. Her address and phone number had been doxed by a person who identified themselves as “AltisticRight” and who claimed to use Wiki Farms because they allegedly opposed Greene’s stances on transgender rights. Greene is an outspoken opponent of LGBTQ protections and freedoms. Police arrived and learned there was nobody shot, which was fortunate because Greene said that she always has her gun ready when she answers the door at night.
Kiwi Farms has been implicated in the suicide deaths of three trans people and has severely impacted the lives of countless others.
Katelyn Burns, a transgender woman, wrote in a Sept. 10 column on MSNBC about how she felt in 2017 when she found out that her new legal name, her pre-transition name, her address and phone number were posted on Kiwi Farms.
“Like all of my nerve endings were directly touching an electric fence as anxiety coursed through my body,” Burns wrote.
In addition to her personal information, there were many disparaging comments.
“So many comments, and growing quickly. I don’t know how many pages the message board thread has today but it was approaching 80 the last time I looked, several years ago,” Burns wrote. “For trans people in particular, who are more likely to have a mostly online social life after friends and family abandon them after transitioning, Kiwi Farms was especially dangerous.”
Another woman, Debi Jackson of St. Louis, Mo., said that her, transgender 9-year-old daughter, Avery, was featured on the cover of National Geographic in 2016, as the the first trans person on the magazine’s cover. Before long, Kiwi Farms was leading a unabated series of the worst verbal assaults against Avery and her mother.
“The kind and gentle folks who call themselves Kiwi Farmers decided that I was a groomer pedophile and that Avery would only be ‘safe’ if they exposed our full names, addresses, cell phone numbers, places of work, etc. ‘to protect the children,’” Jackson posted in a Sept. 5 tweet. “They bragged in the thread that I ‘must be watching’ so they wanted to elevate things for me to read. So many comments about driving me to suicide…for my child’s benefit. Avery is just 15. More than a third of Avery’s life has been lived in the shadows of Kiwi Farms terrorism. My bright and confident kid withered away, decided that being a proud and public trans kid ruined their life, and didn’t even want to acknowledge being trans anymore.”
One transgender streamer, Clara Sorrenti, known as “Keffals,” told the Daily Kos this week, that over the last several weeks, she has been pursued around the world by the doxers and stalkers of Kiwi Farms. She said she had fled to a home in Belfast, where she heard from a caller who claimed he contacted some local men to bomb the restaurant where Sorrenti and her friend were going to. Another said they wanted to personally fly to Ireland and bomb the house she was staying at.
The incident with Sorrenti evidently was enough for Cloudflare, a Network infrastructure giant, to finally sever its relationship with Kiwi Farms on Aug. 25, essentially driving the platform off the mainstream Internet. In 2017 Cloudflare cut off service to the Nazi Stormfront organization and its Daily Stormer website in the aftermath of the far-right rally in Charlottesville, Va.
After Kiwi Farms’ contract with Cloudflare was ended, the company shifted to a Russian, distributed denial of service firm, DdoS-Guard, which shortly later cancelled its contract with Kiwi Farms. Kiwi Farms currently is using a new host, VanwaTech, a popular site for conspiracy theorists and white nationalists, such as 8kun and the neo-Nazi blog the Daily Stormer.
VanwaTech’s founder is Nick Lim, a technology entrepreneur and software developer based in Vancouver, Washington. Lim says on his LinkedIn page that his goal is “to make the world a better place.”

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