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Internet security and hosting provider Cloudflare has blocked Kiwi Farms, a notorious forum for online abuse.

Concerns intensified when the company said Kiwi Farms posed an "immediate threat to human life", with an increase of "targeted threats" over the last few days.

Members of the site recently targeted Canadian Twitch streamer and trans activist Clara Sorrenti, who has had personal information spread across the forum. People have also made hoax emergency service calls to her home.

Sorrenti started a #DropKiwifarms campaign across Twitter, where many users shared the horrific harassment and comments they experienced at the hands of Kiwi Farms users.

Cloudflare initially resisted dropping the controversial site, calling it "an abuse of power" to do so – but later realised it was "an imminent emergency."

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What is Kiwi Farms?

Created by former 8chan administrator Joshua Moon, Kiwi Farms first emerged in 2013.

It was said to be launched initially as a forum to troll and harass a webcomic artist who was first noticed in 2007 on a 4chan video game board.

The site has become synonymous with stalking and online abuse of "lolcows", a term created by Kiwi Farms users to describe victims who they perceive to be mentally ill or a member of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Users' tactics include doxing (publishing victims' personal information), attempts to get them fired from their jobs, reporting fake crimes to their home address (swatting) and harassing friends and family.

Some of Kiwi Farms' harassment campaigns have carried on for months or years – with some driving the targets to suicide.

What did Cloudflare say?

Matthew Prince, Cloudflare’s chief executive, announced the block on Twitter.

"We just blocked Kiwi Farms," he said in the tweet.

"The threats on the site escalated enough in the last 48 hours that, in spite of proactively working with law enforcement, it became enough of an imminent emergency we could no longer wait for them to act."

On Saturday (3 September), Cloudflare issued a lengthy blog post detailing their "extraordinary decision."

The internet infrastructure provider stated, "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."

"Kiwi Farms has been around for over a decade and at no point in the site’s history have they come under this much fire," the statement said.

"This is a historical [sic] moment where thousands of people have stood up and taken a stance against online harassment and hate. This deals a big blow to Kiwi Farms and their community, one they may never recover from."

You can read it in full here.

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