Trans streamers say Sorrenti’s activism matters
As Sorrenti and Murray explored the convention center, they encountered other streamers who had supported Sorrenti throughout the Kiwi Farms campaign.
Gwen “Schmoople” Montgomery, a streamer who describes her platform as an “LGBTQ+ safe space,” befriended Sorrenti via Twitch and first met her in person during the convention. She made an appearance on Sorrenti’s stream when they met at the convention market, known as Artist Alley.
“It was really tough,” Montgomery said of seeing what Sorrenti had been through over the past few months. “I couldn’t imagine a stronger person to get through this…And I’m so proud of her for being able to do it.”
Murray likens Sorrenti’s campaign against Kiwi Farms to his past experience working in international human rights law. Sorrenti’s team spent weeks collecting evidence, archiving “everything as soon as it was released” and documenting the threats “in a way that a court would accept.”
“It was interesting to see the front of my building on 4chan,” Murray added.
Further wins followed Cloudflare dropping Kiwi Farms. Internet archive site Wayback Machine removed Kiwi Farms from its archives and Google removed it from search results. The security department hCaptcha also abandoned the site. After Cloudflare stopped serving it, Kiwi Farms moved to Russian servers, where it was soon shut down again when web hosting provider DDos-Guard also terminated services.
“There’s a chilling effect on these kinds of sites…If they get too arrogant, people will start talking about it,” Sorrenti said. “And we now know that service providers don’t want to host these kinds of sites. It’s terrible publicity for them to keep up.
I don’t feel like such a big streamer…but in the realm of trans streamers, I’m one of the biggest.”
-clara sorrenti, known as keffals
Kiwi Farms has struggled to maintain relevance ever since, and on September 18 came to a halt again, when the site was hacked. In a post on the site, Kiwi Farms founder Joshua Moon told users to assume that their passwords, emails and any IP addresses used on their Kiwi Farm accounts had been leaked. Moon said his own administrator account was compromised by the breach.
Although Sorrenti’s viewership is only a fraction of other major streamers, Kiwi Farms’ harassment and propensity to take on conservatives online has propelled her as one of the best-known trans creators on Twitch.
“I don’t feel like a big streamer – I watch people like Hasan [Piker], or one of the biggest political streamers. Like, I’m tiny,” Sorrenti said. “But in the realm of trans streamers, I’m one of the biggest, which is both cool but also kind of sad because the bar is really low.”
Sorrenti’s platform may be smaller than that of any traditional Twitch partner, but its impact is felt in the realm of trans creators.
At the start of her TwitchCon stream, Sorrenti stopped by the Trans Lifeline booth, where the organization’s charity stream coordinator, Amanda Stevens, told viewers about micro-grant programs to provide trans women with care. of gender affirmation.
“It’s really huge,” Stevens said of Sorrenti’s pit appearance. “I think any streamer of any size is really important. Especially right now where Keffals has a lot of eyes on her. It’s so important to be able to collaborate with other streamers trans of this size.
Twitch Ambassador Annie Roberts noted the increase in trans streamers on the platform in recent years. Five years ago, she said, trans creators were completely harassed off the platform. Although many trans creators still face disproportionate harassment, the trans community has flourished online.
“When I started streaming three years ago, trans representation was pretty dry,” Roberts said after snapping a photo with Sorrenti. “And that’s kind of why I got into streaming a bit. So it’s really cool that you can be a mainstream streamer and still be trans and it’s like it’s not severe.
Navigating through life after exploding online
The weeks following the August crash incident were a “whirlwind,” Sorrenti said.
Amid the harassment, Sorrenti and her then-fiancé ended their relationship. Their split was ‘unrelated’ to the doxxing and crushing attempts, but Sorrenti said the threats against the couple severely affected her ex’s mental health.
“It really relieved me, because everyone closely associated with me has to do the same kind of things I do,” Sorrenti said of the breakup. “And that’s not fair. It’s really painful, just being associated with me means you have to take all these precautions, and you can’t just live like a normal person.
The immense scrutiny she underwent was isolating, Sorrenti said, and the fact that so few people could relate to her only made the loneliness worse. She’s become even closer to the creators who moderate her channel and make up her leadership team, as they too have been doxxed by Kiwi Farms users for working with her.
When her campaign to take down Kiwi Farms began to gain traction, Sorrenti came under fire for her social media posts, which some Twitter users criticized as capable and micro-aggressive.
She was widely criticized for making a rude joke earlier this year which some users said was offensive to people with autism. The tweet was taken out of context, Sorrenti said, and fueled accusations of predatory behavior and being a “groomer”. The term implies that a person is a pedophile and has been used in homophobic rhetoric in conservative spaces to associate LGBTQ people with a danger to children.
Aaron Barnett, a streamer known as Enny who also works on Sorrenti’s management team, described the criticism as disproportionate to Sorrenti’s actual viewership.