What's new
  • Donate and support Agora Road's Macintosh Cafe to keep the forum alive and make any necessary upgrades to have a more pleasant experience! In addition, you will be able to have "moods" enabled on your profile and have donation only awards! Update: I configured the site with Brave Browser, so you can send tips to the site with BAT.

    You can now donate directly to the forum without signing up for patreon. You will still have all of the same perks in patreon but its now one less sign up method. It will be under Account Upgrades

    This is the submission thread for the 2nd E-zine! Please use the dropbox linke for submissions and bump the thread with ideas, comments, statements, or just to bump. If you want to submit your stories or whatever you want to the second edition.

Kiwifarms under attack | Kiwifarms has not yet fallen! | Null exhausted, Keffals' (Confirmed Pedophile) pie in the sky inbound.

Gold
Joined
Aug 9, 2021
Messages
390
Reaction score
1,595
Awards
145
Virtual Cafe Awards

gwen

agoraphobic
Joined
Jun 3, 2022
Messages
89
Reaction score
99
Awards
23
So i'm still wrestling with this. I have no love for attention whoring trans activists or sanctimonious journalists and the idea that they can shut down discourse they find offensive is obviously pretty bad. On the other hand Kiwifarms is a cancer and arguably worse for the culture than the idiots who got Cloudflare to drop it. It incubates a whole community of frankly, mean as fuck people, and yes Null can't control what those people do, but that doesn't mean KF isn't partly responsible for creating its own kind of echo chamber, that gives people social license to be assholes, swat and doxx people, etc. Because of this i feel like it's a terrible, terrible poster child for free speech online. There are plenty of places, like Agora for example, where you can express gender critical, or vaccine skeptical, or whatever type views that get shut down on mainstream platforms (which i'm not defending).

You don't need to buy into the idea that Kiwifarms is directly responsible for some mentally ill people's suicides, to see that it's a toxic lagoon of hyperconcentrated malicious shit. Painting it as just a "free speech zone" is borderline disingenuous imo and ignores the explicit original purpose of the site, which is, ultimately, making fun of mentally ill people. Not a cause worth wrapping in the lofty language of "free speech" in my opinion. So Kiwifarms a special case and i think there's good reason to be skeptical that it represents the beginning of a slippery slope.

As for DDOS attacks being illegal, i don't really care. Malicious trolling is immoral but not illegal. DDOSing someplace like Kiwifarms, is illegal but IMO not immoral. It's the culture's immune system fighting back against the tumor. And again, since Kiwifarms knowingly enables a lot of illegal activity, even if the site's operators aren't personally directly responsible for it, i feel it's somewhat disingenuous to complain about how the people trying to take it down are using illegal methods.

Also, sorry if this has been brought up before, but i mean, i would never provide professional services of any kind to Kiwifarms and i feel that's my right too, as a matter of conscience. Cloudflare is run by people with consciences, who don't owe you or Null anything. If the company simply caved to political pressure that's one thing; but if enough employees at the company just decided, we don't want to serve these people anymore, would people still consider that an attack on free speech? Afaik that's what happened with XenForo, and there were people then too complaining about how free speech was under attack. But the employees at that company (admittedly much smaller and less foundational than Cloudflare) just didn't want to serve a customer they found repugnant. Cf. Christian bakers not making wedding cakes for gay people. Realistically, enough people find Kiwifarms personally abhorrent that this is probably going to at least play a role in a company dropping them as a customer.

No offense meant by any of this, sorry if it's stupid, i'm trying to reach a reality-based opinion.
 

deepfreeze

Traveler
Joined
Oct 11, 2021
Messages
128
Reaction score
283
Awards
42
The problem is you are thinking zero moves ahead because you happen to dislike the people this is happening to. We know how SJWs think. Nothing is ever pure enough. Where is the bar for what is sufficiently malicious to have a site removed from the internet? I don't know but I can tell you this: if they succeed with KF it will get lower. Every year tinier and tinier infractions of liberal orthodoxy constitute "hate speech." Sooner or later they will come for this place as well.
 
Virtual Cafe Awards

Outer Heaven

Stranger in a strange land
Bronze
Joined
Oct 25, 2021
Messages
589
Reaction score
3,558
Awards
170
Also, sorry if this has been brought up before, but i mean, i would never provide professional services of any kind to Kiwifarms and i feel that's my right too, as a matter of conscience. Cloudflare is run by people with consciences, who don't owe you or Null anything. If the company simply caved to political pressure that's one thing; but if enough employees at the company just decided, we don't want to serve these people anymore, would people still consider that an attack on free speech? Afaik that's what happened with XenForo, and there were people then too complaining about how free speech was under attack. But the employees at that company (admittedly much smaller and less foundational than Cloudflare) just didn't want to serve a customer they found repugnant. Cf. Christian bakers not making wedding cakes for gay people. Realistically, enough people find Kiwifarms personally abhorrent that this is probably going to at least play a role in a company dropping them as a customer.
I agree with everything you said before but this part speaks to a general misunderstanding a lot of people have about US law, free speech and power. People should have freedom to sell to who they want but the law only applies this when its convenient.

CF bakers was fined for not baking the cake, over 100k i believe. The reasoning is that they violated civil right laws, put in place so people couldn't discriminate against others based on race, because these laws were expanded to include sexuality among other descriptors. Regardless of its original good intentions, civil rights law in the US has been expanded for political gain. Anyone can be deemed a protected group by the government if it fits their ideological agenda and now you dont have the freedom to not hire them or not sell to them.

The "private company can do what it wants" excuse is also used to get around government censorship charges. If the US government doesn't like something online, all they have to do is contact big tech or financial companies to stop providing them services, effectively cutting them off. Its effectively political censorship without accountability because what are you going to do about it? Make your own Paypal or Facebook or Twitter? We know the government does this because its been admitted by all of these companies that the FBI and CIA are in regular contact with them over content or users. The same applies to Cloudflare. There are literal ISIS sites using cloudflare but theyre still up because nobody makes a ruckus about it. How do you even run a site without DDOS protection? Its so integral to the internet that Cloudflare themselves admitted in their press release that banning people from their service is like stopping the fire department from going to save people who arnt moral enough. Where does this end exactly?

The answer is with whoever has power. People think that there was a period where the US or corporations were unbiased in their application of law. This is not the case as there is no such thing as an unbiased state. Every tactic we see today has been used against political opponents in the past. Its only back then that they were labelled enemies of the state so nobody cared. Nobody was complaining when all political enemies were all called terrorists in 2001 but when the government uses that language against neoconservatives or freezes bank accounts suddenly its a new thing. The only thing that has changed is that the people in power are using their tools against their own people. If you want to keep your site up you have to have the political power to keep it up and relying on the rule of law to protect it is naïve.
 
Virtual Cafe Awards

Collision

Green Tea Ice Cream
Joined
Jun 5, 2022
Messages
184
Reaction score
494
Awards
49
i'm trying to reach a reality-based opinion.
I think the best way to do this is to get rid of all the hyperbolic language about how vile you think Kiwifarms is and start by addressing what really goes on there. What has the community of Kiwifarms provably done? What has Null provably done? How do you know that they have done these things?
Cloudflare is run by people with consciences, who don't owe you or Null anything.
This may not necessarily be the case. Cloudflare is a business and it, certainly, forms contracts with its clients. I don't use Cloudflare so I can't speculate what terms they may have had with Null. However, just because there's no active litigation doesn't mean they're not in breach of those terms. It just means that if they are in breach then no one is willing to pay to go after them for it. Software licenses are another form of contract and similarly might be breached by either party. Once you come to an agreement (at least as far as US law is concerned) that agreement can't just be tossed away because of your conscience.
 
Virtual Cafe Awards

handoferis

PM Jizz Truss wears a day collar
Bronze
Joined
May 28, 2022
Messages
224
Reaction score
423
Awards
56
This may not necessarily be the case. Cloudflare is a business and it, certainly, forms contracts with its clients. I don't use Cloudflare so I can't speculate what terms they may have had with Null. However, just because there's no active litigation doesn't mean they're not in breach of those terms. It just means that if they are in breach then no one is willing to pay to go after them for it. Software licenses are another form of contract and similarly might be breached by either party. Once you come to an agreement (at least as far as US law is concerned) that agreement can't just be tossed away because of your conscience.
It can if the agreement has a clause like this (which it does). Legal teams cover their arses for shit like this.
Additionally, we may at our sole discretion terminate your user account or suspend or terminate your access to the Service at any time, with or without notice for any reason or no reason at all.
 
Virtual Cafe Awards

Collision

Green Tea Ice Cream
Joined
Jun 5, 2022
Messages
184
Reaction score
494
Awards
49
It can if the agreement has a clause like this (which it does)
Additionally, we may at our sole discretion terminate your user account or suspend or terminate your access to the Service at any time, with or without notice for any reason or no reason at all.
Further evidence that trusting Cloudflare was a very bad idea for a guy running a controversial web forum.

XenForo's license says the following:

4. Termination​


The License for the Software is effective until terminated. You may terminate the License at any time by uninstalling the Software and destroying all copies of the Software.


XenForo Limited reserves the right to revoke Your License to use the Software should any of the terms of this Agreement be violated. In the event that We revoke Your License for a violation of this Agreement, no refund will be granted.
I'm not sure what terms Kiwifarms allegedly breached but if I had to guess it would be this one:
You undertake to ensure that the Software is not used by You or others to engage in or promote: illegal activity; any activity that would violate the rights of third parties; defamation, discrimination, harassment, hatred or harm of third parties.
 
Virtual Cafe Awards

handoferis

PM Jizz Truss wears a day collar
Bronze
Joined
May 28, 2022
Messages
224
Reaction score
423
Awards
56
Further evidence that trusting Cloudflare was a very bad idea for a guy running a controversial web forum.

XenForo's license says the following:

I'm not sure what terms Kiwifarms allegedly breached but if I had to guess it would be this one:
The only differentiation here really is that XenForo is a real software license vs Cloudflare SaaS stuff. SaaS shit often carries the "we can just kick you out" term, whereas proper software licenses usually require a breach of terms to terminate (as licensor doesn't have to keep paying costs to provide the software to you as you've installed it somewhere yourself).
 
Virtual Cafe Awards

handoferis

PM Jizz Truss wears a day collar
Bronze
Joined
May 28, 2022
Messages
224
Reaction score
423
Awards
56
Cloudfare, as a company, has a right to not do business with people it doesn't want to. But if this one company not wanting provide you their service de facto bans you from the internet then that is a serious, serious problem.
Strong agree - the issue isn't companies rights to contract or not contract, it's the fact that we keep sleepwalking into positions where there's like, one provider for a given service. We already fucked up with Google, we owe it to ourselves to not do it again.
 
Virtual Cafe Awards

gwen

agoraphobic
Joined
Jun 3, 2022
Messages
89
Reaction score
99
Awards
23
The problem is you are thinking zero moves ahead because you happen to dislike the people this is happening to. We know how SJWs think. Nothing is ever pure enough. Where is the bar for what is sufficiently malicious to have a site removed from the internet? I don't know but I can tell you this: if they succeed with KF it will get lower. Every year tinier and tinier infractions of liberal orthodoxy constitute "hate speech." Sooner or later they will come for this place as well.
Possibly. Counterpoint: you happen to dislike the antagonists in this story, so you have an inflated sense of the threat they pose. Most people aren't SJWs. Most people and platforms who get denounced by SJWs don't get shut down. Kiwifarms is a soft target because of its content, which is its own fault. All Keffals or whoever had to do was make enough noise to get people to enough normal people to pay attention to Kiwifarms, and it was game over because Kiwifarms is that bad.

The "private company can do what it wants" excuse is also used to get around government censorship charges. If the US government doesn't like something online, all they have to do is contact big tech or financial companies to stop providing them services, effectively cutting them off. Its effectively political censorship without accountability because what are you going to do about it? Make your own Paypal or Facebook or Twitter? We know the government does this because its been admitted by all of these companies that the FBI and CIA are in regular contact with them over content or users. The same applies to Cloudflare. There are literal ISIS sites using cloudflare but theyre still up because nobody makes a ruckus about it. How do you even run a site without DDOS protection? Its so integral to the internet that Cloudflare themselves admitted in their press release that banning people from their service is like stopping the fire department from going to save people who arnt moral enough. Where does this end exactly?
Well i hear you, but fundamentally a big private company is still composed of the people who work for it. You're saying those people should be required to violate their own principles if the company is big and important enough? Where does *that* end exactly, with employees not even allowed to quit or else they're violating someone else's free speech?

I think the best way to do this is to get rid of all the hyperbolic language about how vile you think Kiwifarms is and start by addressing what really goes on there. What has the community of Kiwifarms provably done? What has Null provably done? How do you know that they have done these things?
I don't think i'm being hyperbolic. They're like a hate magnifier. Maybe you think "hate" is a loaded word; what about "malice" or "viciousness" or something? A huge proportion of the content on that site is just bad, evil stuff that's not worth protecting, written by sick people who for whatever reason get off on obsessively stalking and attacking people they don't like, and fostering content like that is their raison d'etre. The proof is if you go read Kiwifarms for ten minutes. I'm not saying the lolcows are in the right either, but a good number of them are just living their lives in a dumb and embarrassing way. Null acts like he's performing some kind of noble public service by giving depraved trolls (more hyperbole?) a space where they can encourage each other's worst, meanest tendencies, which i find laughable. I'm curious how you would describe what "really" goes on there?
 

Outer Heaven

Stranger in a strange land
Bronze
Joined
Oct 25, 2021
Messages
589
Reaction score
3,558
Awards
170
Well i hear you, but fundamentally a big private company is still composed of the people who work for it. You're saying those people should be required to violate their own principles if the company is big and important enough? Where does *that* end exactly, with employees not even allowed to quit or else they're violating someone else's free speech?
This veers off from the thread subject a bit but its indicative of yet another problem with the US legal system. Companies are considered persons in a legal capacity. The people running them can simultaneously make appeals to personal principals and deflect repercussions because their company is a person. Whatever happens here, Mathew Prince will never legally be held responsible for anything, not even in a civil lawsuit because he operates under Cloudflare, despite him personally making the order to take the site down. If in theory everyone stops using Cloudflare in protest, Prince doesn't suffer anything from bankrupting his company with his actions. Bureaucrats in big companies love using their firm as a shield for their own actions. The fact that its even up for debate whether Cloudflare did this out of moral principal or out of pressure or just pettiness is proof of this, these people have no accountability. In a perfect world, companies would not get unique legal protection and be allowed to get this large, controlling and unaccounted for.
 
Virtual Cafe Awards

Collision

Green Tea Ice Cream
Joined
Jun 5, 2022
Messages
184
Reaction score
494
Awards
49
I don't think i'm being hyperbolic. They're like a hate magnifier. Maybe you think "hate" is a loaded word; what about "malice" or "viciousness" or something? A huge proportion of the content on that site is just bad, evil stuff that's not worth protecting, written by sick people who for whatever reason get off on obsessively stalking and attacking people they don't like, and fostering content like that is their raison d'etre. The proof is if you go read Kiwifarms for ten minutes. I'm not saying the lolcows are in the right either, but a good number of them are just living their lives in a dumb and embarrassing way. Null acts like he's performing some kind of noble public service by giving depraved trolls (more hyperbole?) a space where they can encourage each other's worst, meanest tendencies, which i find laughable. I'm curious how you would describe what "really" goes on there?
I think all of this language is hyperbolic. It exaggerates the state of things and it doesn't tell us much of anything about Kiwifarms except that you don't like it. Words like malice, viciousness, and evil don't tell us anything concrete about what is going on. What I'm suggesting you do if you really want a, "reality based opinion," is that you go and find concrete examples of what you don't like. There's minimal value in restating, over and over, that you think Kiwifarms is bad for nebulous reasons. What specifically, on that web site is malicious, vicious, evil, or bad? Post some examples of why you think it's so awful. Show me how you know it's bad specifically and I'll be much more willing to consider your opinion based on reality. This would be easier, of course, if the site wasn't essentially unreachable. Something you should consider, in my opinion, as well.

As for how I would describe Kiwifarms, it's another discussion forum. It's a lot like Agora Road in many respects. It's much more popular and the core subject matter is very different. You can find many popular threads here have similar threads somewhere on Kiwifarms (e.g., threads about Ukraine or silly questions). Threads about lolcows, in my personal experience, range from mean-spirited for some individuals all the way to quasi-admiration for others. I find many of the users to be similar to users here too. There's a lot of users both on Agora Road and Kiwifarms that express opinions that would get you banned on reddit. I would love to provide some concrete examples and go into more detail but, as I'm writing this, Kiwifarms is unavailable to me and additionally has been removed from the Internet Archive.
 
Virtual Cafe Awards

gwen

agoraphobic
Joined
Jun 3, 2022
Messages
89
Reaction score
99
Awards
23
In a perfect world, companies would not get unique legal protection and be allowed to get this large, controlling and unaccounted for.
Totally agree, and i also agree the doctrine that companies are legally people is stupid, but that's not what i'm appealing to here. Cloudflare has no "rights" worth speaking of as far as i'm concerned. The people whose labor goes into delivering Cloudflare's services, however, have the right not to act in a way that promotes, aids, or enables the existence of something they abhor. I don't see how you can require that Kiwifarms, 8chan, or any other site is entitled to Cloudflare's services, without also suspending the rights of the employees not to participate. And that goes for helpdesk reps all the way up to the CEO.

A fundamental problem here IMO is that "free speech" means one thing when it's a matter of using your actual god-given voice or operating a physical printing press or permitting controversial groups to gather on your own property. It means something entirely different when the "speech" in question requires the use of someone else's platform. The fact that the platform is very popular and used by a lot of people doesn't change very much. If there's really no other option than Cloudflare for DDOS protection, then yes, to me it DOES seem more reasonable and fair that Null and his freedom-loving friends should have to develop their own alternative infrastructure, rather than force Cloudflare to provide a service they're unwilling to, simply because they're the biggest and most successful player.

The difference between Cloudflare and a government in this context is that the former doesn't claim sole sovereignty over the internet, and there's always room for other service providers. It's possible i'm being naive.
 

gwen

agoraphobic
Joined
Jun 3, 2022
Messages
89
Reaction score
99
Awards
23
I think all of this language is hyperbolic. It exaggerates the state of things and it doesn't tell us much of anything about Kiwifarms except that you don't like it. Words like malice, viciousness, and evil don't tell us anything concrete about what is going on. What I'm suggesting you do if you really want a, "reality based opinion," is that you go and find concrete examples of what you don't like. There's minimal value in restating, over and over, that you think Kiwifarms is bad for nebulous reasons. What specifically, on that web site is malicious, vicious, evil, or bad? Post some examples of why you think it's so awful. Show me how you know it's bad specifically and I'll be much more willing to consider your opinion based on reality. This would be easier, of course, if the site wasn't essentially unreachable. Something you should consider, in my opinion, as well.

As for how I would describe Kiwifarms, it's another discussion forum. It's a lot like Agora Road in many respects. It's much more popular and the core subject matter is very different. You can find many popular threads here have similar threads somewhere on Kiwifarms (e.g., threads about Ukraine or silly questions). Threads about lolcows, in my personal experience, range from mean-spirited for some individuals all the way to quasi-admiration for others. I find many of the users to be similar to users here too. There's a lot of users both on Agora Road and Kiwifarms that express opinions that would get you banned on reddit. I would love to provide some concrete examples and go into more detail but, as I'm writing this, Kiwifarms is unavailable to me and additionally has been removed from the Internet Archive.
Look i mean, i realize i'm not helping my case by saying this, but reading that site makes me extremely uncomfortable. When i do go lurk there, from some perverse impulse, i always need to quit the internet for a couple of days afterwards. Even if it were reachable, i still wouldn't want to go hunting for the worst examples so i could bring them back and show you concretely what i'm talking about. We all know what's there. If you don't find it that offensive personally then i'm happy for you, but most people do, and none of those people should *have* to give KF a platform or provide them services.

People say things on Agora that make me uncomfortable too, which is why i like it, but the overall ethos of the site is totally different. Kiwifarms' whole point is to push limits and be entertaining to edgelords who like to pick on mentally afflicted people. I'm sure it has users who are decent and some interesting threads but i feel like it's obviously in its own category in some respects.
 

Collision

Green Tea Ice Cream
Joined
Jun 5, 2022
Messages
184
Reaction score
494
Awards
49
Look i mean, i realize i'm not helping my case by saying this, but reading that site makes me extremely uncomfortable. When i do go lurk there, from some perverse impulse, i always need to quit the internet for a couple of days afterwards. Even if it were reachable, i still wouldn't want to go hunting for the worst examples so i could bring them back and show you concretely what i'm talking about.
You're right this doesn't help your case. As a brief aside, the two most valuable university courses I took (in terms of dollars vs utility in day to day life) were both writing courses (one was a remedial writing course because I attended an American public high school). In one of these courses I was assigned a book called They Say/I Say which, I think is a worthwhile read even if it's very basic. Here is a passage I think is relevant (found on page 3 of the digital edition I have):
If there is any one point that we hope you will take away from this book, it is the importance not only of expressing your ideas ("I say") but of presenting those ideas as a response to some other person or group ("they say"). For us, the underlying structure of effective academic writing—and of responsible public discourse—resides not just in stating our own ideas but in listening closely to others around us, summarizing their views in a way that they will recognize, and responding with our own ideas in kind.
What you are doing here, when you refuse to engage with primary source material, is cutting out the "they say" portion of a good argument. You'll never reach an opinion based on anything remotely resembling reality by doing this.
We all know what's there.
In fact, we do not. I certainly don't have the time or energy to keep up with everything posted on Kiwifarms. I legitimately do not know what material you find so awfully reprehensible that it causes you to need some sort of internet detox. Even if I did know, you should consider the medium in which we're communicating. There will certainly be future readers of this thread (whether that future is 20 minutes from now or years from now) who also may not know.
If you don't find it that offensive personally then i'm happy for you, but most people do, and none of those people should *have* to give KF a platform or provide them services.
I don't think I have said that anyone should have to give Null or Kiwifarms any kind of service. I have been very critical of Null and his administrative decisions. What I did say, in response to you, is that Cloudflare definitely had a contract with Null and they do need to uphold that contract. As has been discussed it is likely their contract contains a unilateral out for Cloudflare which is one reason I think it was foolish for Null to trust them under fire.
Kiwifarms' whole point is to push limits and be entertaining to edgelords who like to pick on mentally afflicted people.
We're now in the domain of personal opinions but I don't think this is the case. Kiwifarm's central point is to document what weird people do in public places. Most of these people are web personalities who have a long history of oversharing. If any of them are simply trying to be left alone then I am unaware of it.

In any event, I would be interested in hearing more (perhaps in a separate thread) about how you feel so uncomfortable viewing certain information on the web that you feel you need to go offline for a couple days. I've seen many people on Agora Road post about a need to go offline but the feeling is totally alien to me. I've been browsing the web since I was 7 or 8 years-old and I don't think I've ever felt so utterly repulsed by anything that I needed to disconnect myself.
 
Virtual Cafe Awards

Outer Heaven

Stranger in a strange land
Bronze
Joined
Oct 25, 2021
Messages
589
Reaction score
3,558
Awards
170
A fundamental problem here IMO is that "free speech" means one thing when it's a matter of using your actual god-given voice or operating a physical printing press or permitting controversial groups to gather on your own property. It means something entirely different when the "speech" in question requires the use of someone else's platform. The fact that the platform is very popular and used by a lot of people doesn't change very much. If there's really no other option than Cloudflare for DDOS protection, then yes, to me it DOES seem more reasonable and fair that Null and his freedom-loving friends should have to develop their own alternative infrastructure, rather than force Cloudflare to provide a service they're unwilling to, simply because they're the biggest and most successful player.

The difference between Cloudflare and a government in this context is that the former doesn't claim sole sovereignty over the internet, and there's always room for other service providers. It's possible i'm being naive.
This isnt possible because of barriers to entry. You will always be using someone else's platform whether that's DDoS protection or payment processors. Null wrote an article about this on ZeroHedge called "where the sidewalk ends". Ill link it below but the most important section is this part:

1662914745068.png


Every part of the internet is reliant on someone because that's the whole point, its a network. What makes this even worse is that even if you're a billionaire that can make your own version of all these components you are still beholden to payment processors to handle your transactions. If all the major banks and Paypal and Visa refuse to work with you because you're controversial, you cant exist. What are you going to do then? Make your own bank? That comes with even bigger barriers to entry and now you're at the mercy of Stripe and other banks who can refuse to do business with you. There is always a bigger fish you have to rely on to do business. People have to get the idea out of their head that the US is a free market in any respect. All of these systems are by design to only allow approved institutions to operate. This is why I said earlier that the only way to 100% ensure your site stays up is to run the country you're in and control all the institutions, which is impossible. What this means is that anybody who disagrees with any facet of the system can be shutdown. Its no different than China or Russia in that regard, just more obfuscated.

 
Virtual Cafe Awards