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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/pkbz4b/what-i-learned-from-near-an-emulation-legend-and-real-person
Man, fuck Kiwi Farms. I’ve never been targeted, but I have friends that have, and that place is literally the scum of the earth. Maybe that’s even too unfair to scum. What’s beneath the scum?
I got into an argument with a KF member about the definition of “harassment” once and that’s when I realized that debate, conversation, or discussion just doesn’t work. They create their own reality in which they are the heroes in whatever fucked up story they want to tell. Deplatforming them is the only option, and I hope to God it happens before they cause more damage.
Seriously, fuck them every which way possible.
I appreciate that Patrick centered this article on Near, the person, and not just on the harassment they received.
I hadn’t heard of Near before, but I have been targeted by the Farms, and… this hurts.
Near was a real one. higan is the best emulator in the biz and Near deserves a place in the history books for their work in game preservation. Kiwi Farms can fuck all the way off.
Hector’s open letter touched on this point briefly but I think it’s worth expanding. While Kiwi Farms is one of a handful of prominent hangouts for internet sociopaths, the type of person who hangs out there exists on every platform, online and off. Take the doxxing and death threats sent to Twitter’s Main Character of the Day, for example. Even if we believe Bean Dad is a bad father with bad takes, does that mean his address should be published online so other psychos can send him a pipe bomb? No, of course not, and the people participating in the pile-on probably don’t even have a strong stake in the game to begin with. They’re just assholes looking for an acceptable target to send death threats to today. I’m obviously not talking about regular people doing righteous dunking; I’m talking about the people who write scripts to flood someone’s mentions with torture porn, the ones who snitch to your boss to try to get you fired on false pretenses, the ones who post pictures of your child’s elementary school as a grotesque way to exert “dominance”.
We, as the internet community, need to take a hard look at what it means to continue to tolerate the existence of these communities and the actions of those in them. Not just Kiwi Farms; sites like that serve to concentrate people like this, but they exist across all communities and social media. Being passive about this problem means being complicit. (emphasis mine)
I’ve been thinking about what this means. It’s hard to envision what it would take to “burn out” this toxic element of internet communities, so to speak. The same features that make it a place to find niche and underserved communities (e.g. anonymity, distributed identity, etc.) also allow edgelords to make it worse for everyone. Less anonymity and less protection from subpoena power will invariably be turned against the left in new and frightening ways if the cops have more power to access users’ private data, even if the power is granted with the intention of prosecuting cyberbullying.
It’s such a tough issue. Certainly a first step is to eradicate places like Kiwi Farms, 8kun, Gab, etc. but it would be hard to legislate them out of existence. And where do you go from there? How do you address the root cause of anonymity-enabled sociopathy? Better internet education? Is there even a way to diminish it, even slightly? I don’t know. I’m still broken up about Near and I’m rambling now.