Over Labor Day weekend, one of the biggest online security services providers, Cloudflare, made what it called a “dangerous” decision to block access to one of its most controversial customers, an increasingly violent alt-right web forum called Kiwi Farms.
The decision came two weeks into a pressure campaign called “Drop Kiwi Farms.” It was launched by Clara Sorrenti—online alias “Keffals”—a transgender activist and Twitch streamer among those targeted most venomously by Kiwi Farms. The goal was to protect people like Keffals and fight back by forcing Cloudflare and other Internet service providers to stop enabling Kiwi Farms’ escalating attacks on trans people and other vulnerable communities.
The pressure campaign raged on social media, while Cloudflare held out for weeks. But then, within a 48-hour period, Cloudflare noted that Kiwi Farms users were growing increasingly aggressive and had started doxxing and swatting victims. (Doxxing is when someone publishes private information to incite violence against a target, and swatting involves placing a hoax call reporting imminent suicide or gun violence to police so they descend on targets with force.)