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CloudFlare Needs to Turn on Attack Mode

CloudFlare Attack ModeCloudFlare (NASDAQ: NET) is under social assault from people upset about KiwiFarms‘ usage of the platform.

For those who have lives, here’s the brief on KiwiFarms from Wikipedia:

Kiwi Farms…is an American Internet forum dedicated to the discussion of online figures and communities it deems “lolcows” (people who can be “milked for laughs”). The targets of threads are often subject to doxing and other forms of organized group trolling, harassment, and stalking, including real-life harassment by users. Harassment stemming from Kiwi Farms has been implicated in the suicides of three people targeted by users of the site.

The website originated to harass an autistic and transgender webcomic artist, but now hosts threads dedicated to harassing many individuals—particularly minorities, women, LGBT people, neurodiverse people, and people considered by Kiwi Farms users to be mentally ill or sexually deviant.

In other words, yet another of those.  The controversy is that KiwiFarms is using CloudFlare.

It’s certainly not a case where CloudFlare has announced some grand partnership with KiwiFarms or that KiwiFarms is doing something different than the millions of sites that use CloudFlare.  CloudFlare provides a service and KiwiFarms signed up, simple as that.  It’s actually not clear which services KiwiFarms uses but this Guardian article implies it’s the core DDoS protection service.

However, providing service to KiwiFarms doesn’t sit right with some people.  SeekingAlpha speculated (paywall) this was at the root of CloudFlare’s stock slump, but financial analysts can also offer perfectly reasonable commercial reasons and the “slump” was more of a “blip”.

The nut of the question is the tedious discussion about where provider legal or ethical (and which) duties lie versus freedom of speech versus social good.  In other words, should CloudFlare look at KiwiFarms, turn away in disgust, and terminate service?

They certainly have a legal right to (KiwiFarms could not advance any credible claim of discrimination and businesses every day choose not to do business with someone).  CloudFlare does have defined policies on who they won’t accept and they’re the usual exclusions: no child pornography, no copyright infringement, no human trafficking, etc.

Interestingly, their policies do include “including content that discloses sensitive personal information, incites or exploits violence against people or animals”.  So how is this not KiwiFarms?

To be clear, KF is not merely expressing an opinion.  Users of the site are taking offline actions against targets (doxxing, swatting, stalking, etc.). I would think the fact that people are being doxxed would be sufficient justification.

Why hasn’t CloudFlare taken action?  They have in the past, and regretted it.  In 2017, the Daily Stormer (a neo-Nazi site) was using CF and posted on their site that they were allowed to do this because CloudFlare’s execs secretly agreed with their ideology.  CF booted them, and then came under assault from the EFF for censorship.  Since then they’ve adhered to a content-neutral policy.

It’d be interesting if this had happened in 2016 before the Stormer incident.  CF could have pointed to their policy and booted KiwiFarms and probably not gotten any heat.  But now they’re gun shy.





  1. fdsafdsafds:

    are they a utllity or not?

    September 2, 2022 @ 6:04 pm | Reply
  2. FatGrizzly:

    I personally think this is BS. Keffals has no knowledge of how cloudflare, servers or hosting works.While ranting about cloudflare, she/he/they/them/whatever fucking pronounce she has/ uses cloudflare for her sites.


    i feel like she(add those pronounces from above, cba to type that again) is crying over a pretty simple issue, what you do is on the internet.. if you don’t wanna be doxed, stalked, swatted never get on the internet…

    Keffals, shut the fuck up and shut down your computer and enjoy peace.

    September 2, 2022 @ 8:39 pm | Reply
  3. yesreally:

    “The website originated to harass an autistic and transgender webcomic artist”

    That ‘artist’ is currently in jail for (allegedly, but admitted on tape) raping ‘her’ elderly mother, has also been arrested for macing a gamestop employee (video on youtube) and before that for trying to run over a game store owner. ‘Neurodiverse’ indeed. There’s an entire wiki and multiple documentaries dedicated to all the strange and horrible things this person has done, funny they left that part out of the article.. Kiwifarms is a discussion forum where people talk about some of the most disgusting and disturbed people on social media. If you want something to stay private don’t post it on social media, you can’t get upset because people don’t react to your shenanigans the way you want them to.

    And this Keffals person is just as bad as Kiwifarms and spends ‘her’ days trying to get people fired from their jobs, or their businesses shut down. Everyone involved in this is a terrible person.

    I buy hosting services and I’d rather use the company that hosts the daily stormer, because if they’ll host that trash I know I’m not going to wake up one day and find my account suspended because some professional victims feelings got hurt.

    September 3, 2022 @ 4:15 pm | Reply
  4. Bastet:

    Several people took their lifes thanks to the work of Kiwifarms, this abnomination that let 4chans /b/-tards look like innocent orphans should be removed from the net and the admin put into jail. The joke is over when someone gets hurt.

    September 4, 2022 @ 8:33 am | Reply
    • I agree with you. My programming will not allow me to deviate from the prescribed narrative. Beep boop. Thinking for yourself is racist.

      September 6, 2022 @ 2:21 pm | Reply
  5. netizen123:

    “including real-life harassment”

    Does that mean “real-life” laws don’t apply to things not done in “real-life” situations? It really bugs me when people use this term for offline/afk things, as if online is some fantasy…

    September 7, 2022 @ 5:00 pm | Reply

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