KiwiFarms Went Down. Now Everything is KiwiFarms.
It’s been a year since the famous hate forum went down, and the Internet is more hostile than ever to marginalized groups.
This Sunday, September 3rd, the Washington Post reminded the world that it had been exactly one year since KiwiFarms — the Internet’s most notorious hate forum, which keeps a kill count of transgender people it has taunted to suicide — was dropped by its server, Cloudflare. At the time, this was reported as the “end” of KiwiFarms. The death announcements were premature.
The truth is that KiwiFarms has been up and down and up again for the past 12 months, booted from one server to the next. Its hate campaigns have drawn international attention from the media, and have targeted at least one lawmaker (conservative Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene, who was presumably chosen to counter allegations that KF was a right-wing forum) but there is still no clear legal pathway to taking it down for good.
Nor is KF without its defenders. As per WaPo, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit, has labeled the attempts to take the site down “censorship,” saying that “if the site in question were Reddit, or Planned Parenthood, or even EFF, the internet would be up in arms.”
The site is not Reddit, or Planned Parenthood, or EFF. The site is KiwiFarms, which exists solely for the purpose of killing trans people, and also sometimes disabled people, making it lethally risky for transgender or disabled people to be seen or heard on the Internet. Killing people for existing in the public sphere is probably more censorious than taking their websites down, in the long run, but I suppose the EFF has a right to disagree.
I had actually forgotten about the campaign to drop KiwiFarms, which is strange, considering that I — like many people — used to spend some part of every day dreading its users. The virulent and transphobia of the site used to stand out as especially ugly and lethal. Now, in late 2023, that hatred is just what being on the Internet is about.