Kiwi Farms may be the canary in the coal mine of the internet. Filled with unappetizing content about disturbing internet losers, it pushes back against speech restrictions by essentially arguing that everyone on the internet is a public figure.
If you visit its forum topics, you will find listings for “lolcows” or people who produce interesting internet drama like Chris-chan, the transgender anime-style artist who has had very public legal and personal struggles as well as his own share of vituperative internet fights.
Although its content is not my thing, Kiwi Farms serves as an important yardstick for how much the government-industry partnership has inserted censorship into our daily lives, and how sneaky they are about it. The point of free speech is protecting speech everyone hates, not what is popular.
More webhosts than most of us would care to count have kicked Kiwi Farms off their services. Like infamous website 4chan and ANUS, it aggregates everything that ordinary people fear into one place and therefore is taboo in most places.
Until recently, Kiwi Farms was famous for being deplatformed by CloudFlare, which claims that it is acting on “an imminent and emergency threat to human life” by removing access:
However, the rhetoric on the Kiwifarms site and specific, targeted threats have escalated over the last 48 hours to the point that we believe there is an unprecedented emergency and immediate threat to human life unlike we have previously seen from Kiwifarms or any other customer before.
Kiwifarms itself will most likely find other infrastructure that allows them to come back online, as the Daily Stormer and 8chan did themselves after we terminated them. And, even if they don’t, the individuals that used the site to increasingly terrorize will feel even more isolated and attacked and may lash out further. There is real risk that by taking this action today we may have further heightened the emergency.
We will continue to work proactively with law enforcement to help with their investigations into the site and the individuals who have posted what may be illegal content to it. And we recognize that while our blocking Kiwifarms temporarily addresses the situation, it by no means solves the underlying problem. That solution will require much more work across society. We are hopeful that our action today will help provoke conversations toward addressing the larger problem. And we stand ready to participate in that conversation.
In other words, people complained, and so a justification was engineered that allowed blocking unpopular content. Corporate America does not want to incur the wrath of either government or the Leftist lynch mobs, so they will gladly roll over for some piece of mind.
CloudFlare, as the monopoly provider of DDoS protection to most of the internet, represents a big company that has bowed down to this pressure. Since all they do is mirror and protect the content, rather than host it, one might think that they would just stay out of this debate.
Recently, however, the site was blocked by an even bigger company, Hurricane Electric, who offered no reasons but simply started dropping traffic from the site over their substantial portion of the internet central nervous system:
Hurricane Electric, one of the largest ISPs in the entire world, has blocked 1776 Hosting’s IPs which very briefly (~2 days) was a way to connect to the Kiwi Farms.
Hurricane Electric admits that blocking an entire subnet of IP addresses like this is unprecedented. They refuse to elaborate as to why they’ve done this.
HE is an extremely old, extremely large provider which owns an enormous share of all fiber optic cable in the world. Their connectivity between smaller ISPs is unparalleled. Their bandwidth is over 100Tbps. If every nerve in your body is connected to each other, much like two computers on the Internet, then Hurricane Electric would effectively be your spine – hence why they are called the Internet Backbone. The Internet Backbone is telling a small forum of a few thousand daily users that they may not exist, they will not explain why, and they are not open to meeting halfway.
However, our relationship with HE was indirect. 1776 Hosting had a relationship with an ISP, who itself had a relationship with another ISP, who has a relationship with Hurricane Electric. HE did not terminate a relationship with me, they instead obstructed my providers from receiving traffic they specifically requested because Hurricane Electric does not allow it, without stated reason, and without appeal.
If you care about free speech and open discussion, this is the canary in the coal mine that has suddenly stopped singing. You do not have to like what Kiwi Farms does to recognize that the slipper slope is real and the excesses that get dropped today will be followed by moderates tomorrow.
As democracy toddles on toward its inevitable Utopian endpoint, namely some state of existence approximating Communism with political machine warlords handing out favors, the censorship increases in order to hide the failures of equality, diversity, socialism, democracy, and the modern lifestyle.
They pick targets like Kiwi Farms because most people are repelled by them, but if you read this as a discussion, this means that by accepting censorship of Kiwi Farms, we have accepted the idea that censorship is necessary and good, which means now it can expand to other unsociable content.
For us to fight back against the decay of our society, including mind-warping Leftism and iniative-sapping socialism, we have to keep pushing back against this idea that Leftist ideology can be turned into morality and then made a standard for business and government to enforce.
While that means we will be indirectly supporting some unpalatable content, it also means that the more extreme the content we allow, the more of an envelope we have for normal discussion of contentious issues, which is what we need to move past this decadent and self-destructive time.