Kiwi Farms, the web forum centered around harassing people—especially trans people—will no longer benefit from the web services of Cloudflare, which today gave it the boot. After being implicated in multiple suicides and with ongoing campaigns of hate and abuse hitting the news, the "worst site in the world" must now find other ways to stay online.
Attempts to reach the site currently lead to an error message:
Cloudflare's Matthew Price writes:
This is an extraordinary decision for us to make and, given Cloudflare's role as an Internet infrastructure provider, a dangerous one that we are not comfortable with. However, 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 unprecedented emergency and immediate threat to human life unlike we have previously seen from Kiwifarms or any other customer before.
Kiwi Farms is not hosted by Cloudflare, and can escape the block by updating its records in the internet's domain name system to unhook itself from Cloudflare. But it will then be easier meat for hackers, DDOSers and anyone else hunting it online.
Cloudflare (which we use at Boing Boing) has become a key service to popular websites, and Prince's statement hints at its efforts to position itself as an impartial common carrier and as essential infrastructure. But it has booted disgusting customers in the past, including Nazi site Daily Stormer and general-purpose shithole 8chan, so Kiwi Farms' sudden and growing mainstream notoriety placed enormous pressure on Cloudfare to stop protecting it. I've written before about why private companies cannot guarantee free speech, even if they want to, precisely because of the business realities Price describes as dangerous and uncomfortable.