Shigbeard's Blog

Just a place for me to dump my various thoughts and ramblings. All opinions are my own.

29 Sep 2022

Kiwifarms and Online Freedom

Oh boy, time to talk about Kiwifarms.

I’ve had several discussions with some of my closest friends about Kiwifarms for a while. Incase you don’t know what Kiwifarms is, it’s an online forum dedicated to the discussion, critique, and often ridicule of various online personalities. It started many moons ago as a site to discuss Chrischan (Christine (formerly Christian) Weston Chandler) and his various online shenanigans, but has since expanded to discuss almost any controversial (and sometimes deranged) internet personality.

Kiwifarms has been the subject of many controversies. A number of it’s users are just as deranged as the personalities they discuss, and have been known to harass and threaten the people they discuss. Kiwifarms itself has also been subject to a number of legal threats, but typically avoid legal action by moderating the more extreme content while respecting free speech and respecting fair use.

Sadly, we’re looking at the end of all this. For the past few months, there’s been a concentrated effort online to see Kiwifarms shut down permanently. This has seen Cloudflare, their provider for anti-ddos services and domain registrar, drop them as a client (with frankly absurd allegations from Cloudflare’s CEO). We’ve also seen Kiwifarms lose a lot of their proxy domains, and a lot of their backup services.

Just last night, Kiwifarms managed to regain their .net domain and bring themselves back up, but the movement to down them is still ongoing. The question is though… why is Kiwifarms being attacked? Well, it all began with a terrorist threat made on the site by an inactive account. By the owner’s own admission, the account that made the threat was inactive for several months prior to the threat, and their post remained up for 30 minutes - the same amount of time that the Christchurch Shooter’s livestream stayed up on Facebook for. The moderation response time was on par with the worlds leading social media platform… and yet…

In the 30 minutes that the post was up for, the “subject” of the threat was able to find the post, screenshot it, and use that information to (along with their community) coordinate a campaign to shut down Kiwifarms. This has created a chain reaction, with each new development bringing more absurd reasons for bringing down Kiwifarms. One such excuse included the reasoning of “Russian ties”, which is completely false.

In any case, it does make me concerned about how draconian Internet Censorship is becoming. Personally, I think that Kiwifarms is an important site on the internet. People use it to archive some of the more absurd shit that people have done online, including criminal behavior, and this holds those people to account. Sites like Twitter, Facebook, you can have solid proof that someone is a sexual predator and they’ll still be allowed to prey on victims through the platform, and infact if you try to intervene you’ll be hit with consequences instead. Kiwifarms is a place where people can go to discuss these people, and hold them to account.

Now sure, some actions that occur on Kiwifarms needs to go. Doxxing, calls to raid, and other such actions are not acceptable. But the site has a moderation team that is quick to respond to these issues, and they have a history of respecting free speech and fair use. The site has been around for 9 years, and has been a thorn in the side of many people who have done terrible things online. And ultimately, free speech is too important to shut down the site over it..

Next time, we'll talk about "Whatever I want"