The latest innocent victim of Kiwi Farms and Joshua Conner Moon’s stupidity is Moon’s aunt. Joshua Moon’s mother, Candice Lynn Potter has a sister called Melissa P Sanford, an attorney in Georgia at her own law firm, Melissa Sanford Law (http://www.melissasanfordlaw.com). Sanford has filed a $500,000 lawsuit in Fayette County Georgia against the operators and members of a website named after her sister Candice Lynn Potter (CLP), which has baselessly accused her of a variety of sexual and other forms of wrongdoing.
Before writing about the case, your author took the liberty of instructing a process server to retrieve the case file. As the court clerk states that it is a public document, an uploaded scan is available here. Ms Sanford, the Judge and the operator of the CLP site (the Defendant) were all given an opportunity to object prior to publication, including a full Georgia state working day. All of them were offered an extension of time to consider or take advice if they required it. All of them have read the email and none have objected nor disputed the facts alleged. Joshua Moon has previously asked for himself and his mother not to be contacted, and has previously had the opportunity to dispute the various allegations repeated here.
Melissa Sanford’s lawsuit makes interesting reading. Ms Sanford sues for $500,000 for malicious libel and for tortious interference with her business. Given that the Defendant website sets out its motives at the top of the front page as to its purpose, “Our mission is to dox and ruin Joshua Conner Moon, every single one of his family members, and anyone who supports or protects him” it appears proof of malice will be made out with relative ease.
Furthermore the owner of CLP has responded at length to request for comment, in essence admitting that the allegations are in fact libel but opining that he is, “sue proof” and that the litigation will simply provoke substantial anonymous internet republication by his fellow travellers.
However, readers new to this blog, as well as the court in Georgia and the parties’ acquaintances may not understand why a random anonymous website has started stalking Melissa Sanford and her entire extended family. The tragic answer is that, whilst Sanford may be a good and decent woman, her nephew, Candice Lynn Potter’s son Joshua Conner Moon is anything but.
Moon operates a stable of controversial websites, including KiwiFarms.net, lolcow.news, lolcow.wiki, lolcow.email and 16chan. As a result Moon has been the subject of a variety of allegations, including racism, stalking and sexual wrongdoing.
These claims are not made by cowardly anonymous internet trolls but by a variety of publications including New York Magazine, Heat Street (owned by News Corporation), Daily Kos, Crocels News, Rational Wiki, Encyclopaedia Dramatica and this blog. The entire CLP website is no more than a retaliatory version of Moon’s own website Kiwi Farms.
Key articles about Moon and his sites include –
- Heat Street, 14 April 2016, William Hicks, “Media Falsely Blames Gamergate for Alison Rapp Prostitution Rumors” (archive). Mr Hicks wrote, “The real problem with Kiwi Farms is that unlike Gamergate, they have no stated mission. They exist only to watch the world burn.”
- Matthew Hopkins News, 10 May 2016, Samuel Collingwood Smith, “Twisted, Sexual Deviant Troll ‘Dynastia’ From Josh Moon’s Kiwi Farms Targets Pre-Teen Children” (archive). Your author wrote, “In a thread speculating about whether Moon had been arrested, user Stocking accuses him of threatening to murder, anally rape and genitally mutilate her (archive here). Using his account CityRPG (he has had many names on the site as he kept getting banned), Moon did not deny the allegation […]”
- New York Magazine SelectAll, 19 July 2016, Margaret Pless, “Kiwi Farms, the Web’s Biggest Community of Stalkers” (archive). Speaking of members of Kiwi Farms, Pless writes, “they goaded a 13-year-old boy into masquerading as a 19-year-old girl in order to have phone sex with [a vulnerable man] (and record it, of course)”
- Crocels News, 24 August 2016, Jonathan Bishop, “Cyberbullying platform’s PayPal account shutdown” (archive). Bishop writes, “The CheckAdSenseBan.com website has reported that the cyberbullying websites of notorious troll, Joshua Conner Moon, have been delisted from Google AdSense”
- Daily Kos, 14 September 2016, Margaret Pless, “Francisco Dias: Harboring a Dangerous Guest” (archive). Ms Pless writes, “Josh Moon has a history of harboring child porn in communities he moderates”
- Daily Kos, 15 September 2016, Margaret Pless, “Kiwi Farms Email Server is Still Tor-Friendly. Josh Moon Pleads Incompetence” (archive). Ms Pless writes, “[…] Moon’s been questioned by the FBI about other threats sent from this server. The system as it is seems tailor-made to the needs of a stalker, and supporting Tor basically ensures that people looking to send death threats are going to use the server for its intended purpose”
- Crocels News, 21 January 2017, “Cyberbully shuts down website”, Jonathan Bishop, “Cyberbully shuts down website” (archive). Bishop writes, “The Kiwi Farms website had suffered severe funding problems when a number of high profile advertising companies, financial providers and merchandise e-tailers pulled the plug on their support for the platform.”
Whilst allegations like this have been appearing in a variety of places with increasing frequency since Encyclopaedia Dramatica exposed Moon on their site, none of the articles have led to defamation claims in any country in the world. The court documents clearly show that Sanford does not act for her sister nor her nephew. She does not complain of the allegations against them. This is no doubt a prudent decision on her part – whilst Ms Sanford is being unjustly maligned, the many articles about her Nephew Moon published outside CLP are true. Moon is a libel-proof claimant with a reputation even many prison inmates would not envy.
Much of the criticism is based on Moon’s own words and those of his supporters. For example, before Twitter banned them, Kiwi Farms had an account to advertise itself there. They describe their site as for, “Gossip and exploitation of the mentally handicapped for amusement purposes”.
Indeed, the main targets of Kiwi Farms are the disabled, whilst the site facilitates its members in protecting their anonymity under false aliases. Much like CLP, Kiwi Farms opens threads on individuals. These are mostly selected for vulnerabilities such as learning disability. Feminists and transsexuals are targets. Opponents and critics of the site are also targeted including former editor of Heat Street Louise Mensch, Margaret Pless and myself.
Just like the members of the website CLP, Kiwi Farms members make wildly untruthful allegations from behind a platform of anonymity and then deliberately search engine optimise them.
Moon has also used a personal account to publicly call on Twitter for the genocide of Muslims.
Moon also used Twitter to contact Jewish people to ask if he could have their fingers for a necklace of Jew-fingers. Needless to say the account was banned.
Moon was also the owner of the image board 16 chan, the rules of which were personally written by Moon and expressly permitted paedophile stories and drawings. The notorious, “/phile/” board included a (text only) story about a 5-year-old being abducted by a paedophile. The 5-year-old was cut and then penetrated through the wound until he expired by the perpetrator. The story was presented as erotica.
A previous host of Kiwi Farms, French company Gandi.net, removed Kiwi Farms after they stated that they found child pornography illegal under French law –
The infamy attaching to Moon and Kiwi Farms have had profound effects on his family. Moon’s mother Candy Potter parted company with her employers in January this year after victims of Kiwi Farms Oliver Smith (no relation to the author) and Edward Przydzial complained to them that she was a member of one of Moon’s sites.
Kiwi Farms targets hundreds of people, including deliberately selecting mentally ill persons with a history of convictions for violent crimes. A foreseeable flaw in this business model is that targeting such individuals creates a risk of retaliatory stalking. Kiwi Farms has also provided materials that could be used for trolls to pose as Muslim terrorists. Hoax terror threats have been repeatedly sent from Joshua Moon’s email service lolcow.email.
As a result of this, all of Josh’s family are in serious danger of harm. For example, opponents mimicking Kiwi Farms by adopting the cover of anonymity have sought to draw the attention of real Islamic terrorists to Josh, his associates and his family. The author has no doubt that not only is Melissa Sanford being harmed by the defamation of her on the CLP site, but she, her family and clients are at risk of physical injury. Indeed there are several threads on the CLP forum discussing in “hypothetical” terms the rape and murder of female members of the family. Potential clients of Ms Sanford must weigh a small but very real risk of injury by being in her presence.
Furthermore even if Ms Sanford identifies her John Doe (who is believed to be outside the United States and Europe) and enforces a restraining order against them, there is an ever growing pool of anonymous perpetrators likely to step in as long as Kiwi Farms exists. Indeed, some have already publicly stated that they will carry on if “Doe” is identified.
The best solution would be for Joshua Moon’s family to protect their own interests and the wider community by procuring him to take the Kiwi Farms site and its satellites down. An attempt at a deal occurred after his mother’s difficulties earlier this year. Moon contacted critics this year asking that if they removed their material he would keep his sites closed. For my part, I was agreeable. It soon turned out that Moon was being dishonest. Moon presented an elaborate story about passing the database to 3 ‘regents’ of unknown identity via a blind real time replication system. In reality Moon himself was attempting to pass on his sites and was found out when this leaked. Subsequently, he put Kiwi Farms back up himself.
Regardless of whether Ms Sanford prevails in her lawsuit, it is likely that her own situation will only worsen whilst Kiwi Farms remains.