A small Vancouver web hosting firm with a history of helping controversial websites has recently struck a deal to help another notorious internet community.
Nick Lim, founder of VanwaTech, confirmed to OPB on Tuesday that his company is providing hosting services to Kiwi Farms, an internet message board under intense scrutiny for hateful content posted by some of its users.
According to NBC News, Kiwi Farms is currently at the “epicenter of vicious, anti-trans harassment campaigns,” with some users doxxing and filing false police reports against people.
The message board had temporarily fallen off the internet over the weekend. Its last web services provider, Cloudflare, blocked Kiwi Farms amid a heightened public pressure campaign. Cloudflare wrote that, in recent weeks, the message board’s content veered into potentially criminal territory.
VanwaTech’s ties to the message board became public Tuesday when Twitter users posted screenshots showing it as the new domain registrant.
Lim did not answer questions about how his company entered talks to host Kiwi Farms. The website was active Tuesday afternoon.
“People have compared the environment to 1984,” Lim said when asked what he’s heard from the public. He said the site experienced some coordinated attacks, but things had “quieted down.”
Lim also did not respond to a question asking why he decided to enter into a business relationship with the message board. Lim told The Daily Dot that his company is remaining a “neutral provider” and has no “relationship with the website itself or the posters.”
Lim and his company are known to resuscitate internet communities whose content has gotten them jettisoned by other hosting providers.
In 2019, VanwaTech hosted the message board 8kun, formerly known as 8chan, which was one of the biggest proliferators of the QAnon conspiracy theory. Kiwi Farms’ owner and operator is Josh Moon, NBC News reported, a former administrator of 8chan.
VanwaTech also made headlines in 2017 for hosting neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer after its users mocked a woman killed during the Charlottesville, Virginia, “Unite the Right” rally.
Kiwi Farms has drawn intense scrutiny in recent weeks after targeting a Twitch and YouTube streamer who is transgender. The streamer – Clara “Keffals” Sorrenti – and her supporters then pressured Cloudflare to end its business relationship with the site.
After initially resisting, Cloudflare blocked the website Saturday. The company wrote in a blog post that it had long stuck with the message board despite its own moral objections to content. The company then wrote that recent posts veered into “potential criminal acts and imminent threats to human life.”
“Over the last two weeks, we have proactively reached out to law enforcement in multiple jurisdictions,” Cloudflare wrote.