How $NET Got KiwiFarms Wrong

A long piece which serves up Truth Tapas you can use to fuel other looks at other companies still sitting on the fence with bad actors using their services. I had hear of the Sorrenti case by wetting my toes on the initial story about $NET & KiwiFarms. What I did not know was the cops who answered the SWATTING of Sorrenti at home have also been SWATTED by nefarious trolls on KiwiFarms as well:


Sub-headline: Why more platforms need to close the stochastic terrorism loophole

By Casey Newton@CaseyNewton Sep 6, 2022, 8:00pm EDT…

Today let’s talk about Kiwi Farms, Cloudflare, and whether infrastructure providers ought to take more responsibility for content moderation than they have generally taken.


Kiwi Farms is a nearly 10-year-old web forum, founded by a former administrator for the popular QAnon wasteland 8chan, that has become notorious for waging online harassment campaigns against LBGT people, women, and others. It came to popular attention in recent weeks after a well known Twitch creator named Clara Sorrenti spoke out against the recent wave of anti-trans legislation in the United States, leading to terrifying threats and violence against her by people who organized on Kiwi Farms.

Ben Collins and Kat Tenbarge wrote about the situation at NBC:

"Sorrenti, known to fans of her streaming channel as “Keffals,” says that when her front door opened on Aug. 5 the first thing she saw was a police officer’s gun pointed at her face. It was just the beginning of a weekslong campaign of stalking, threats and violence against Sorrenti that ended up making her flee the country.

Police say Sorrenti’s home in London, Ontario, had been swatted after someone impersonated her in an email and said she was planning to perpetrate a mass shooting outside of London’s City Hall. After Sorrenti was arrested, questioned and released, the London police chief vowed to investigate and find who made the threat. Those police were eventually doxxed on Kiwi Farms and threatened. The people who threatened and harassed Sorrenti, her family and police officers investigating her case have not been identified."

$NET was fully aware of KiwiFarms damage to shallow minds of racists and conspiracy theorists on the internet:…

Most casual web surfers may be unaware of Cloudflare’s existence. But the company’s offerings are essential to the functioning of the internet. And it provided at least three services that have been invaluable to Kiwi Farms.

One, Cloudflare made Kiwi Farms faster and thus easier to use, by generating thousands of copies of it and storing it at end points around the world, where they could be more quickly delivered to end users. Two, it protected Kiwi Farms from distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, which can crash sites by overwhelming them with bot traffic. And third, as Alex Stamos points out here, it hid the identity of their web hosting company, preventing people from pressuring the hosting provider to take action against it.

Cloudflare knew it was doing all this, of course, and it has endeavored to make principled arguments for doing so. Twice before in its history, it has confronted related high-profile controversies in moderation — once in 2017, when it turned off protection for the neo-Nazi site the Daily Stormer, and again in 2019, when it did the same for 8chan. In both cases, the company took pains to describe the decisions as “dangerous” — warning that it would create more pressure on infrastructure providers to shut down other websites, a situation that would likely disproportionately hurt marginalized groups.

What is meant by stochastic terrorism?

There isn’t always a clear moment when an edgy forum, full of trolls, tips over into incitement of violence. Instead, far-right actors increasingly rely on “stochastic terrorism” — actively dehumanizing groups of people over long periods of time, suggesting that it sure would be nice if someone did something about “the problem,” confident that some addled member of their cohort will eventually take up arms in an effort to impress their fellow posters.