Infamous Kiwifarms website blocked by cyber security firm over escalating threats

Cloudflare has blocked the website.
Cloudflare has blocked the website. Photo credit: Getty Images

The infamous Kiwifarms website has been blocked by Cloudflare after the security service raised concerns about escalating threats. 

Kiwifarms, which is run by Joshua Conner Moon, gained notoriety after it refused to remove footage of the 2019 Christchurch terror attack. 

When contacted by New Zealand Police to remove the video, Moon responded in an aggressive and mocking way, calling Aotearoa a "shithole country" with "f****t law". 

Despite having 'Kiwi' in its name, the website has no association with New Zealand; rather, the name was adapted from its former title of 'CWCki Forums'. It originated as a spinoff from controversial imageboard 4chan.

The website has gained infamy for harassing and doxxing - sharing private information - online figures and communities. The website targets minorities, women and LGBTQ people. 

The ban may have also inadvertently blocked a New Zealand-based neo-nazi group called Action Zealandia. 

The Action Zealandia website, which is believed to be hosted by a website run by Moon, is also offline.

Cloudflare's ban comes after Canadian Twitch streamer Clara Sorrenti launched a campaign to get the company to drop Kiwifarms. The campaign came after Sorrenti was relentlessly harassed by users on the website, including facing regular death threats. 

On Monday Cloudflare said it had blocked Kiwifarms, although it said the campaign wasn't the cause. 

"We have blocked Kiwifarms. Visitors to any of the Kiwifarms sites that use any of Cloudflare's services will see a Cloudflare block page and a link to this post. Kiwifarms may move their sites to other providers and, in doing so, come back online, but we have taken steps to block their content from being accessed through our infrastructure," CEO Matthew Prince said. 

"This is an extraordinary decision for us to make and, given Cloudflare's role as an internet infrastructure provider, a dangerous one that we are not comfortable with. 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 [what] we have previously seen from Kiwifarms or any other customer before."

Prince said while the website has frequently hosted revolting content, that alone wasn't enough for the company to block them. 

He said Cloudflare felt uncomfortable blocking Kiwifarms and leaving them susceptible to cyberattacks even if they strongly disagreed with the website's content. But Prince said an escalation in threats means the company is no longer comfortable providing them service. 

Prince made it clear Cloudflare has never been the website's host.

"We are also not taking this action directly because of the pressure campaign. While we have empathy for its organisers, we are committed as a security provider to protecting our customers even when they run deeply afoul of popular opinion or even our own morals. 

"The policy we articulated last Wednesday remains our policy. We continue to believe that the best way to relegate cyberattacks to the dustbin of history is to give everyone the tools to prevent them.

"However, as the pressure campaign escalated, so did the rhetoric on the Kiwifarms site. Feeling attacked, users of the site became even more aggressive. Over the last two weeks, we have proactively reached out to law enforcement in multiple jurisdictions highlighting what we believe are potential criminal acts and imminent threats to human life that were posted to the site."