It provides some of the context of the shutdown. “Null” and some of the membership are quite unsympathetic characters. (not that I claim to be likeable myself) There were free speech absolutists mixed in with, normal people, occasional Nazis, open racists, and people who hate transgender people in general. etc.
However as the article points out, the media claim that Kiwi Farms drove three people to suicide when in one case the name of one of the victims is not even public, is an over-reach. Suicide is, as the article points out, multi-causal. It became a talking point, and in such cases, accurate death investigation requires more detail then “Kiwi farms is linked to this suicide, because Joe had a thread on kiwi farms making fun of him, even if the thread was not active when he killed himself.”
I’m not going to defend Kiwi farms right to free speech generally because quite frankly I don’t know what members administrators, or moderators were actually doing to all the so called LOL Cows they reported on. Moon aka Null claimed that they had a rule that they would simply point and laugh, and not get involved in their “LOL Cows” lives.
I don’t know whether to believe this claim, but assuming that Null is telling the truth, how his staff could actually enforce such a rule on their membership which were very, very, good at discovering personal information about their subjects, is a mystery to me.
When I was a admin on Bullshido.net from 2004-2013 we had a few investigative threads and at least one challenge fight (White Kimbo verses some Ninja guy on the West Coast) go bad, because members would do off the wall crazy things. This must have been magnified greatly in an environment like the Farms where there were a lot less restrictions and the culture was much more influenced by 4 and 8 Chan.
If a mentally ill person publishes derogatory information about themselves on the internet, and then it ends up on a kiwi’s farm thread then republishing it is not nice, but Its also not doxxing IMO. There can be a real open debate on what is doxxing and what is not, and more importantly what doxxing should be permissible.
For example, my personal address was up on, and is up on some government websites. Whereas in the case of a woman attempting to avoid a abusive husband , she would have a much greater claim to privacy, and publishing her address would IMO be evil. because she might get hurt or killed.
So how much damage to people Kiwi Farms members were doing by digging up information on Lol Cows is more complex then what the media (I’m thinking of you Newsweek) says. but it would have to be evaluated on a case by case basis. In my time on Bullshido we only stopped one investigation because of potential harm, and that was in regards to a person who was a known fabricator, but who had been an FBI informant on 1% Motorcycle gangs. If we had published his real name he might have gotten seriously injured or killed.
The whole Null, Kiwi Farms, verses Keffels fight was also more complicated then reported in the media. Null hated Keffels because he said Keffles was helping minors secretly get hold of hormones avoiding parental oversight. If its true that Keffles and one of his buddies were even teaching and encouraging minors how to brew their own such substances, then Keffles was endangering people’s health even more… Then Null had a real reason to publicize Keffles actions.
Null had links on Kiwi Farms he said documented such behavior but Kiwi Farms is now down so I can’t pass on the links.
At the time of its demise, Kiwi Farms also had the best collection of Ron Collin’s court transcripts documenting Ron’s felonous behavor. (Credit for this goes to April Rains and Phil Elmore) Full disclosure, I sent an open email over to Phil to be printed on the thread telling Ron he should drop the Ninja stuff, take care of his mom and get a job once he got out of jail for parole violations. That was in addition to the really insulting shit I said to him about his video taped fight with Icy Mike.
Lastly it is often hard to tell the difference between what Kiwi farms members were doing and what non-members were doing off site. Less then ten days ago someone Swatted Marge Taylor Greene, the right wing Congresswoman. I think anyone who Swats anyone should do time because it is so dangerous. What made the case an obvious set up, was that after the police went to her house, and realized it was a swatting the “member of Kiwi Farms” called them back and claimed credit for Kiwi Farms, which strikes me as an attempt to falsely attribute blame to Null and Co.
Those are my thoughts, as mixed as they are. I came back to edit this post to state that I don’t like or support a lot of the things said there, the question, as a free speech supporter is when you need to pull the plug because people’s safety as verses their feelings are in jeopardy.
The Kiwi Farms story interests me because I, and we, used to investigate martial arts frauds, which did involve some doxxing and we run a much more open speech environment then most forums, though more restrictive then the Farms.