Steam is one of the world’s best known and best loved gaming platforms. It revolutionised the video games market, bringing instant downloads and regular updates to millions of consumers.
Valve Software’s store, however, has a dark side in which sinister and systematic harassment of women, the mentally disabled and even pre-teen children is glorified by a small minority of users.
Recently CEO Gabe Newell and his VP of PR Doug Lombardi were warned of a Steam Group for Kiwi Farms. Whilst the group disappeared soon afterwards Steam has failed to ban the malevolent paedophile minority who made up its members and organisers.
The internet has many sites. Some are good, some are bad and some are simply revolting dregs.
One such dreg is Kiwi Farms. Their mission is clearly set out in their surprisingly honest marketing material. It is worth revisiting the logo they had on their Twitter account before I (along with others) had it permanently suspended.
The tagline, “Gossip and exploitation of the mentally handicapped for amusement purposes” is no joke. That is exactly what they do, as recently revealed in an article (archive here) by left-wing journalist Margaret Pless detailing the systematic stalking and harassment of disabled victims.
Pless explains the origin of Kiwi Farms as the CWCki, a site that stalked an autistic man called Christian Weston Chandler (CWC) in the style of the film, “the Truman Show” in which Jim Carrey plays a man whose whole life is a television show.
Tragically CWC’s audience were cruel trolls. They committed numerous crimes against him. For example, they hacked his Yahoo and PSN accounts and then under threat of selling the accounts, they blackmailed him into destroying a prized medallion and anally penetrating himself with the pieces. They then published a transcript on their wiki.
Since then, CWCki has become Kiwi Farms. Kiwi Farms is a little like CWCki except that instead of simply targeting one man they establish malicious harassment threads on a wide range of people. Many are selected from disability support sites. The cowardly Kiwis like weak victims that they can lure to their forum and pressure into giving up personal details. Other victims include academics, celebrities and critics.
The owner of Kiwi Farms, Joshua Conner Moon, also hosts a little-used image board called 16chan. 16chan claims to stay within the letter of the law, which means it does not allow photographs of children. It does, however, allow a board which contains detailed stories about children being abducted, raped and murdered because these are legal to possess in the US and the UK. The downside for Moon is this means whistleblowers can legally read the board, see what gets him off and share it with journalists in convenient archive form.
Of course anyone could have written the slash-paedo fiction on 16chan. The shocking issue is that it is fully compliant with site rules (archive here). 16chan rules state that –
“Pedophilia must be contained within boards exclusively about child fetishism” – so no disrupting the zoophilia forum you naughty paedophiles!
“Boards about pedophilia must be text-only. No images.
This does not extend to drawn images, unless drawn in the likeness of a real child (as per US federal law).”
In case anyone missed it, these rules, with … curious precision … allow Neko Shota. You know cartoon pornography of underage porn that Josh previously said he enjoyed.
The /phile/ board on 16chan also allows links to sites allegedly containing, ‘teen’ models. Your author has not followed the links so readers will just have to guess what they contain. If they contain child pornography though, does that not make Joshua Moon complicit in its distribution? How proud his mother Candice (Candy) Lynn Potter must be.
One of the most depraved of the Kiwi Farms trolls is Dynastia, responsible for a public vote on Kiwi Farms as to whether it was okay to dox underage children (archive here). The vote passed and they began to harvest the photographs and personal information of children as young as 5.
In fact, Kiwi Farms has been in trouble for hosting actual child pornography before, and was banned from several hosts, including former provider Gandi.net who expressly confirmed the presence of illegal paedophile material. Your author understands they found photographs.
Gandi.net’s correspondence with owner Joshua Conner Moon shows that they found child pornography and when he denied it and claimed to have a zero tolerance policy, whatever it was they found was so awful they would not give him a second chance.
The stories that Kiwi Farms owner Joshua Conner Moon allows on 16chan are utterly horrific. As a flavour of the kind of thing involved, one story depicts a toddler being abducted, wounded, and then said wound being sexually penetrated. This causes the assailant to have an orgasm and the toddler to perish and is actually permitted by Moon under 16chan rules. Sickeningly, this individual is still allowed on Steam – Josh’s user account is here (archive here).
Many Kiwi Farmers use Steam. However, it is not simply that they use Steam, but they attempted to openly promote their warped hobby of harassing the disabled. Kiwi Farms actually has a thread for trawling Wrongplanet.net, an autism forum, for material for their depraved activities. They openly referenced this in the Steam outpost of their group (archive here).
The group links to Kiwi Farms and to the LOLCow Wiki, a site where they document and further harass their victims. It boasts that, “The Kiwi Farms is a steam group stemming from our forum devoted to watching retards that do retarded things”.
I would ordinarily never advocate that an individual or group be banned from a site for activities outside (although to be fair, a small category of exceptions includes paedophile mutilation snuff fetishism) but clearly Kiwi Farms has brought their hate speech openly to the Steam Community.
Valve operates in multiple countries and is covered by consumer and disability legislation in all of them. This includes the Americans with Disabilities Act in the United States, the Equality Act 2010 in the United Kingdom and equivalent legislation around the world. Allowing this group and its members a place on Steam to openly spread their hate clearly creates a hostile environment.
A UK court recently imposed a permanent restraining order and £10,000 in damages against a person called KiwiDynastia, who is believed to be the user Dynastia from Kiwi Farms. I have placed a bounty on him of up to £5,000 (about $6,678 US).
Aside from the systematic harassment of the disabled, KiwiFar.ms contains intense racism, such as this thread (archive here), which begins with Joshua Conner Moon repeating the n***** word several hundred times.
Unlike Kiwi Farms’ owner Joshua Conner Moon, who lives in his mother’s basement in her house in Pensacola, Valve Software actually has money. Angered disabled users, or those from ethnic minorities, are likely to want to take some of it from them.
For example, in the United Kingdom, Steam could be sued under section 26 (1) (b) Equality Act 2010 –
(1) A person (A) harasses another (B) if —
(a) A engages in unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, and
(b) the conduct has the purpose or effect of —
(i) violating B’s dignity, or
(ii) creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for B”
Under UK law claimants need not even be disabled themselves. The Americans With Disabilities Act has similar provisions.
The real question though is why supposedly ethical and responsible Gabe Newell would allow members of a sickening, paedophile, hate group access to Steam. Is he comfortable with having a user who is aroused by ‘erotica’ about carving open 5 year olds and murdering them during the act of penetration?
According to his Wikipedia biography, Newell has two children. Has he no empathy? How would he like it if his children’s pictures were harvested and placed online like Marian Aanerud’s we placed on Kiwi Farms? How would he like it if his children were the stars of one of the vile snuff stories on 16chan? How can he countenance having monsters like the Kiwis on Steam without even a community ban?
Is he okay with having individuals that openly – on Steam – made jocular reference to a forum that solely exists to harass the disabled? Only he can tell us – yet Gabe Newell is curiously silent. For those who are concerned about the well-being of the vulnerable I will list the three main leaders of the now defunct Kiwi Farms Steam Group: Joshua’s profile is here, Owlakki’s is here and Undead Unicorn’s is here.
When your author and fellow travellers contacted PayPal and its CEO Daniel Schulman, the reverse was true. Within days all of Kiwi Farms and CWCki’s accounts were closed for good. Why is Gabe Newell unable to show the same moral strength?
Detailed evidence has been passed to Gabe Newell and Doug Lombardi and they were given several days to deal with Kiwi Farms and its members before publication of this article. No denial was received and the sickening facts speak for themselves.
Readers who feel strongly may want to politely let email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org know their views.