Cloudflare’s decision comes after Kiwi Farms was linked to a campaign of harassment and violent intimidation targeting Clara Sorrenti, a Canadian trans woman who is a streamer on Twitch, a popular platform among video gamers. did.
Concerned for her safety after her personal information was posted online, Sorrenti left her home in Canada in recent weeks and traveled to Belfast, Northern Ireland to stay at a friend’s house. However, according to her, online harassers were able to track her there.
Cloudflare’s decision comes amid an ongoing debate about what major internet companies and platforms should do against online hate and harassment campaigns organized in support of the service.
Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince has long expressed displeasure with his company’s potential role in determining what can and cannot be brought online. This is the same position as others in Silicon Valley who argue that it should not be their responsibility to police online speech.
However, he said of the rhetoric regarding Kiwi Farms, “and the specific targeted threat has escalated over the past 48 hours, an unprecedented level unlike anything we’ve seen before from Kiwifarms or other customers. We believe there is an emergency and an imminent threat to human life.”
“Cloudflare provides security services for Kiwifarm to protect against DDoS and other cyberattacks. We were not Kiwifarm’s hosting provider,” added Prince.
Last Wednesday, amid mounting public pressure to stop providing support to Kiwi Farms, Cloudflare released a blog post seeking to clarify its position.
“In a very troubling response, both terminations were followed by a dramatic increase in authoritarian regimes seeking to terminate the security services of human rights organizations,” the blog post read.
By Sunday morning, Kiwi Farms was mostly back online and found another service provider to keep it on the web.
Sorrenti told CNN on Sunday that he will continue his campaign to force all internet service providers to refuse kiwi farm business.