Ends, Justice, and Means
Updated: Sep 27, 2022
by Harmony B
I am a trans woman who, once upon a time, used the means of posting on KiwiFarms for the end of exposing a sex abuser. Even though I was successful, this was still a reckless, unconsidered, and frankly downright stupid move for which I should have suffered far more negative consequences than I have thus far reaped. Whatever good results came of it in the end I still went in there and I breathed the air. With the passing of KiwiFarms into the dustbin of history I feel as though it behooves me to reckon with my prior participation.
KiwiFarms was a hateful spout of seemingly never-ending human misery. Even knowing this to be indisputably true there is also a part of me that will have to be begrudgingly grateful to them for enabling me to take down my abuser, in spite of themselves.
But I’m still left conflicted about the time I spent there. I am thankful that my actions didn't actually hurt anyone, knock on wood. Two SCP users were mentioned by me with first names as they had already been doxxed by KiwiFarms (an effort in which I had also been doxxed by) as far as I know no harm came to them. But it was still irresponsible to reinforce the disclosure, reminding KiwiFarms users of their ability to do harm. For that I must once again apologize to Dexanote and djkaktus.
In retrospect I was incredibly lucky have emerged unscathed. The memory of my trolling them by posting pictures of my feet will always make me smile, especially when the same people who were insulting me in the thread were horny-posting in my DMs. But I really had no right being so cavalier and careless in my interactions with the KiwiFarms user-base. I was in inviting them to come at me, given what they had on me from the doxx they could have done so easily at any time from the moment I started posting in the thread. My first step towards this moment was taken four years prior to it.
I first became aware of KiwiFarms through talk in the SCP Wiki staff chat around 2017-2018 when the SCP Foundation thread began, these logs of the SCP Wiki's IRC-based staff chatroom from 2017 are the earliest I could find:
KiwiFarms was on the periphery of my interest, some drama forum somewhere was writing nonsense about the SCP staff. I wasn’t aware of their more nefarious and cruel activities, at a glance they seemed like scoundrels but nothing more than that. I would have payed no further heed to their activities were it not for one particular accusation. My then-colleagues in SCP staff laughed at this nonsense, the notion that one of our admins, Bright, was an abuser.
Alongside any drop of true information on KiwiFarms there are gallons of intoxicated speculation, hysterical corny conclusions, and rapidly fabricated lies. Nothing on there can be taken as true and anyone pretending it served a legitimate purpose 'exposing people nobody else would' is kidding themselves. Even for the one case where they unquestionably found a predator in the SCP confic community, they did themselves no favors by exaggerating and distorting the evidence that had been brought to them in order to make it better fit their narrative that SCP was bad because it had become more accepting of LGBTQ persons.
Between the rotting piles of baloney, the outsiders posting to KiwiFarms kept posting there because there was nowhere else to go if you wanted to call out sex abuse by a major member of SCP community and not be immediately silenced by well-meaning authority figures who presumed such things could never be true. Those outsiders weren't all enthusiastic about being there, but there was nowhere else to post about the Bright allegations where it would definitely be seen by those with the power to act.
KiwiFarms was the first place to host the damning evidence against Bright publicly, even if they were also saying a dozen things that weren't remotely true at the same time. It would be easy to write off a single truth floating in a sea of lies was a case of a broken clock being right twice a day, but they had the receipts to prove Bright's guilt and unlike most receipts provided by KiwiFarms the evidence against Bright in particular paid the bill.
Those power users read the KiwiFarms thread often but dismissed all information out of hand as equal parts baloney and balderdash. I can't really blame them for doing so even though Bright is someone I know for a fact is an abuser. I know because I am one of those of whom Bright took advantage of for his own sexual gratification. It wasn’t something I had spoken about to anyone at that time, but seeing my fellow staff mock the posters on KiwiFarms as being beyond the pale when I knew that much of what they said was true gave me a bad case of cognitive dissonance. These two contradictory thoughts were whirling in my head: KiwiFarms was wretched, but they were telling the truth about another wicked evil which nobody empowered to act on behalf of the SCP community would even acknowledge.
In retrospect it’s obvious why the charges leveled at Bright were actually credible when so much else on KiwiFarms was so much garbage: Those posting actual damning information were outsiders who came to KiwiFarms specifically because it was the only place where the SCP Wiki Staff didn’t have their thumbs on the scale in terms of controlling the flow of information. KiwiFarms was too radioactive for the SCP Wiki staff to consider touching it even with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole.
I do not know how or why I largely escaped harassment, perhaps it was simply that at the time I used social media even less than I do now and had discontinued use of my prior accounts, so the avenues of purely digital harassment were simply limited and I was not worth the time or effort to show up at my place personally. After all for someone who liked to use KiwiFarms there were so many larger targets they could aim at instead of me. It could have been that I never got down into the mud pit with them... apart from once telling someone misgendering me on purpose to “Say it to my face, f█████” which I would do again were the circumstances the same regardless of whether it was a place like KiwiFarms or the furthest reaches of meat-space. Perhaps they were saving me for later.
I am a strong believer in freedom of speech and the power of journalism. One of the things which allowed me to rationalize my initial interactions with KiwiFarms was that they were basically Bellingcat by way of /pol/. That is to say, an impressive capacity to collate, analyze, and maximize knowledge from discrete data points to create a cohesive narrative in the hands of heartless sociopathic trolls. It existed purely in service to the yellowest shades of faux-journalism. KiwiFarms existed to chase preconceived notions, a constant collective commitment to cognitively dissonant confirmation bias.
KiwiFarms may once have had an excellent argument for a legitimate seat at the extreme end of protected speech. That time was before they began moving outside the confines of their forum. If there is true freedom of speech there must be room for those voices which are vile, to prove it is true anyone can speak even if that speech disgusts the listener. But the infliction of real world harm moves outside the realm of protected speech. Driving innocent people to suicide and using the implicit threat of such violence to silence those who might otherwise have shone a light of truth on them granted KiwiFarms license to repeatedly exit the arena of ideas intent on doing real-world harm. They wanted their protected speech to hurt people without accepting the consequences of their actions, a bloody free lunch.
This refusal to take responsibility can be seen in the denial in the face of all evidence that those who killed themselves due to the harassment inflicted by KiwiFarms are in fact dead. The rationale given is that the victims are actually alive but hiding, trying to make KiwiFarms look bad, a big fat whopper only the gasping maw of the fanatic could swallow. Unfortunately KiwiFarms had plenty of talented fanatics to go around the world making their targets' lives a living hell. Nobody wanted to mess with them, nobody even wanted to acknowledge them for fear of being next.
This chilling effect allowed them to continue their gleeful perversion of truth seeking. At least that was until they met Clara Sorrenti aka “Keffals”. Since then it’s been a stunning match-up in sudden death. Keffals, a well-known twitch streamer, kicked off an extremely savvy media campaign using the hashtag "#DropKiwiFarms" to mobilize public opinion against KiwiFarms after they targeted her for harassment The campaign was wildly successful in spreading awareness of KiwiFarms' existence to those who had not heard and giving heart to those who had been silenced by the chilling effect of harassment.
This is how it is supposed to work, the hateful online brush-fire being spontaneously extinguished by the truth. But it’s terrible that at least three people died from intolerable gang-stalking harassment before this imbalance was corrected. Made all the more tragic by how unnecessary all of that harm truly was; targeting queer people for their queerness is a waste of life for all involved. Keffals is transgender and it was this aspect of her which KiwiFarms targeted her for, along with her history of confronting transphobes. But unlike so many who had come before she took a stand and shook KiwiFarms to its core in a way nobody else ever had.
KiwiFarms was an ontological evil, any good they did was ultimately incidental and accidental. The tools that KiwiFarms brought to the table; an incredible ability to collect and distill information from photos and their digital reach are assets any major news outlet would kill to possess in such abundance. But those tools were placed in the hands of cretinous trolls uninterested in ambiguity, justice, truth, or anything else other than confirming their preconceived notions and then acting on those assumptions with vicious violence. But KiwiFarms is thankfully now a husk of itself, providing an opportunity to respond better the next time it or something else like it emerges to threaten peace again.
Dismantling KiwiFarms is a sign of strength for freedom of speech, not a symptom of weakness. It is a victory because those who were canceling the speech of others, KiwiFarms, were taken down not by state power but by a voice of truth that rang louder than any heinous lie ever could. It is living proof that the truth will win in an open marketplace of ideas, even if the chilling effect of prior big lies ensured their collapse was not soon enough to save those we lost:
We must do better to confront evil in the future before lives are lost. All that is required for the forces of dishonesty and treachery to win are for those with the power to speak back stand by and say nothing. Why is it the twitter-ratio-loving Twitch streamer's job to stand up to the hate forum? That she chose to step up when she did is to her credit, but the fact of the matter is the fire should not have been allowed to spread that far in the first place.
Postscript on the doxxing rumor.
I was banned from the SCP Wiki effective from February 16th 2021. It was a traumatic period for everyone involved. Personally I’d just come out as transgender, ended a long-term relationship, and was re-evaluating how I had spent the last ten years of my time in containment fiction and finding both it and myself lacking. In trying to do something about it I ended up spitting in the eyes of those most inclined to be sympathetic towards me by posting on KiwiFarms. It is true that several months before I began posting there several members of SCP Staff and I were doxxed in the SCP thread. Here is an example of the rumor being spread on Twitter:
Neither I nor anyone else in the Society for Containment Fiction have ever doxxed anybody.
We don’t engage in doxxing and have no interest in doxxing anybody.
We recognize the hard work put into every containment fiction writing project and everyone in the Society for Containment Fiction wants containment fiction to be the best it can possibly be.