Cloudflare appears to have gone back on its decision to not block troll sites that use its services by announcing the blocking of the notorious Kiwi Farms forum.
The website, widely known for its harassment of minoritized social groups, will now be blocked from using any of Cloudflare’s services, the CDN provider has confirmed.
However Cloudflare says the decision is not only an extraordinary one, but also a potentially dangerous move that the company does not necessarily feel comfortable with.
Blocking troll websites
Cloudflare blocking Kiwi Farms does not mean the forum will remain entirely inaccessible, as the site owner could still choose to move the website to another provider, which will enable it to come back online.
According to the Washington Post, Cloudflare Chief Executive Matthew Prince said the change of heart was not based on an increase in pressure from a campaign launched urging the site to block Kiwi Farms, but rather, “a surge in credible violent threats stemming from the site”.
Cloudflare previously provided security services to Kiwi Farms, protecting them from DDoS and other cyberattacks, but was not the site’s web hosting provider.
“As we outlined last Wednesday, we do not believe that terminating security services is appropriate, even to revolting content,” Prince said in a blog post.
“In a law-respecting world, the answer to even illegal content is not to use other illegal means like DDoS attacks to silence it. 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.”
Prince adds that law enforcement is involved with tackling the problems caused by Kiwi Farms, but he believes that the police are not working fast enough to provide a permanent solution to cracking down on the trolling forum.
Cloudflare believes that its action to block Kiwi Farms may further heighten tensions, and fears that the troll forum could lash out following the decision.
The company also reiterated that Kiwi Farms could come back online using another provider, as was the case for the Daily Stormer and 8chan websites previously blocked by Cloudflare in the past.
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