According to the company’s Twitter account, it no longer wants some domains on its platform.
Domain name registrar Epik is back in the spotlight, this time after suspending the domain of Kiwi Farms.
Kiwi Farms is a controversial website that, according to Wikipedia, “facilitates the discussion and harassment of online figures and communities. Their targets are often subject to organized group trolling and stalking, as well as doxxing and real-life harassment.”
The operator of the site complained on Twitter on December 12 that Epik seized the domain for Terms of Service violations. (He subsequently moved the domain to NameSilo, and now it’s at Namecheap).
On January 22, Epik’s Twitter account posted:
It’s a rather conflicting tweet.
In a since-deleted tweet posted yesterday, Epik’s Twitter account said the cancellation was due to doxxing and that the site hosted child pornography. The tweet included a screenshot of the alleged violation and read:
Here’s the complaint received that violated our TOS for doxxing. We believed this to be underage porn also. Regardless, Epik doesn’t want to do business with websites like this. If we misread this we apologize. Did we make the right choice in cancelling KF?
The Kiwi Farms operator says the person in the image was 19.
And today, Epik’s Twitter account posted a survey and said it will no longer harbor “absolutist free speech websites.”
In other tweets over the past few days in response to the controversy, the company first stated “We were forced to help the owner switch to another registrar by US authorities…”
When Kiwi Farm’s owner said that involvement of law enforcement was a lie, Epik responded, “I think you caught us. It was woke liberal employees here cancelling you because they didn’t like the hate speech on your site.”
In another tweet, the company stated:
“Yeah. We’re not really into “free speech”. The old owners were. That’s not our thing. We offer .25 over cost domain registrations. 9.99 .com’s initially and upon renewal. Did we handle your situation badly? Yes. 100%. You had child porn on your site. We’re sorry We have no agenda.”
But then it relented a bit:
“We screwed this up many different ways. And are learning. We are trying to establish better processes and guidelines so that we don’t have employees go rogue on us. What is CP? 5 employees see it differently, so we are undergoing some hard questions to try to get better. sorry”
The series of tweets is all rather confusing, and it’s not entirely clear where Epik stands and what types of domains it will allow.
Epik, long known for harboring controversial domain names and websites, was acquired in June of 2023 after running into financial difficulties. The new owner is unknown.
Kiwi Farm’s founder has threatened to sue Epik as a result of the suspension.