A renowned developer who used the pseudonym Near/Byuu last month posted a Twitter thread excoriating the online forum Kiwi Farms for intense bullying and implied they were going to kill themselves. The thread was shared more than a thousand times and lit up the gaming scene after reports that Near later died by suicide.
Kiwi Farms bills itself as a "community dedicated to discussing eccentric people," though researchers who study extremist communities say it's notorious for degrading and harassing its targets – often those they perceive as deviant and many of whom struggle with existing mental health issues.
Wayne Beckett, founder of Hong-Kong-based Datapower Development, said Near, whose full name was David Kirk Ginder, was an employee and confirmed Ginder's death to USA TODAY. Beckett said Ginder, who identified as nonbinary, shared that they were having trouble with bullying online, though didn't explicitly name Kiwi Farms. Beckett said the company offered to help Ginder, but they said they were handling it.
Kiwi Farms' founder Josh Moon posted a statement on his site denying responsibility, and noted in an email to USA TODAY that "there is no evidence of any harassment."