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Kiwi Farms has been scrubbed from the Internet Archive

Kiwi Farms has been scrubbed from the Internet Archive

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The site has been offline for days

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

The Internet Archive is no longer hosting backups of Kiwi Farms, continuing the forum’s removal from major web platforms. Twitch streamer Clara “Keffals” Sorrenti, who has led a recent campaign against the site, publicized the removal yesterday. Another tweet noted that a separate backup site has also been removed; searching either returns a response that “this URL has been excluded from the Wayback Machine.”

Kiwi Farms’ main site has been offline since security provider Cloudflare dropped it earlier this week, citing an “immediate threat to human life” due to threats and potential criminal actions from Kiwi Farms users. But until yesterday, many of its threads were available through the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, including posts with personal information about Kiwi Farms targets.

The Internet Archive didn’t respond to a request for confirmation that it had actively excluded the domain, but Kiwi Farms administrator Joshua Moon criticized the removal on Telegram, suggesting the site wasn’t blocked by its own operators.

The move would be an unusual decision for the Wayback Machine, which automatically crawls the web to create a backup of countless sites and pages. Site owners can choose to exclude domains, but they’re otherwise rarely removed except for copyright reasons. The Internet Archive has previously protested requests to delete alleged terrorist content, and controversial sites like the now-rebranded 8chan remain on the Wayback Machine. Some unaffiliated archive sites — which save domains at the request of individual users, not automatically — have retained their backups of Kiwi Farms.

Supporters of the Drop Kiwi Farms campaign celebrated the Internet Archive’s decision. “Internet heroes right here,” tweeted Yonah Gerber, who urged the Archive to remove the site. Kiwi Farms is known for collecting and publicizing personal details about targets it holds in contempt, many of whom are transgender women like Sorrenti. While the site ostensibly discourages direct harassment, Sorrenti has faced swatting attacks and persistent threats during her campaign, and other targets have had similarly ugly experiences. Kiwi Farms has been allegedly linked with three suicides, including an emulator developer who blamed the site for a relentless harassment operation soon before their death.

While Moon launched a Tor-based backup of Kiwi Farms, he’s struggled to find companies to host a stable replacement, and the Wayback Machine had provided one of the easiest ways to spread information while it was offline. Removing that backup doesn’t erase the site’s existence from the internet — but it’s one of the closest equivalents.

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