J.K. Rowling at the "Fantastic Beasts: The Secret of Dumbledore" world premiere at The Royal Festival Hall on March 29, 2022 in London, England. (Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
One of J.K. Rowling’s most prolific allies says she was arrested for posting transphobic messages on notorious hate website Kiwi Farms.Caroline Farrow, a campaign director for an ultra-conservative anti-trans group, was arrested at her home after doxxing and misgendering a trans woman who she’s spent years harassing. She’s also accused of posting a hate-filled cartoon on the notorious message board Kiwi Farms, where she is one of the very few people who have a verified account.
After being released, the 48-year-old mother of five who’s married to a priest, posted a Twitter thread detailing her Monday night arrest. “Teatime. I was doing a roast chicken. Knock at the door. Two coppers,” Farrow said in a Twitter thread detailing her arrest on Monday night. She went on to say a police officer “forced” his way in and seized all her devices, including an iPad her 10-year-old autistic daughter uses for her homeschooling.She claimed she was “frisked” and “shoved in a police car.” Her crime? She had “written some insulting messages on the internet,” Farrow wrote.“When read my rights and told that what I said could be used in evidence against me, I replied that women don’t have a [penis],” she wrote, using the eggplant emoji, a common symbol for male genitalia.As a result of the fallout from Farrow’s viral Twitter thread, on Tuesday the Surrey Police were forced to issue a statement in an effort to counter the “significant commentary on social media around the perceived circumstances behind this investigation.”“We do not have the freedom of detailing every stage of our inquiries or the specifics of an allegation on social media as it is critical we do not pre-empt or prejudice any future proceedings at any stage,” David Bentley, temporary detective chief inspector of the Surrey Police, wrote in a statement posted on Twitter. But rather than staying silent, Farrow doubled down by appearing on GB News, a right-wing British TV station equivalent to Fox News.
During the interview she once again highlighted her domestic goddess credentials by informing everyone she was “making roast chicken” for her family who “live in a presbytery.” She then claimed that she was arrested for nothing more than “a gender Twitter spat.”“Why does treating you worse than they treat a rapist help them get your side of the story?” host Mark Steyn asked Farrow, after she claimed once again that the police were aggressive when arresting her.But Farrow’s claims had real-world consequences. A day after her interview aired, Stephanie Hayden, a lawyer and trans activist who has been a target of Farrow’s harassment for years, received a phone call from the police telling her that there had been a credible threat of arson against her.“I was contacted last night at quarter to 10 by the officer that’s dealing with the investigation,” Hayden told VICE News. “She told me that Surrey Police had received threats [and] one of those threats concerned arson. So the Detective Chief Inspector asked the officer to contact the Metropolitan Police here in London, to place a marker against my home address.”Hayden said she asked for specifics about the threats but that the officer was “quite vague.” Surrey Police told VICE News on Friday morning that a threat had been made on Twitter in response to their tweet, and “as a precaution, we made the complainant aware and have put appropriate safeguarding measures in place.” The threatening tweet was reported to Twitter and subsequently deleted, the police added.
Farrow told VICE News she would not respond to the allegations made against her, based on advice from her legal team.The investigation stems primarily from a tweet the Farrow posted on July 26, which included a photo of a letter she had received notifying her of a legal action being brought against her by Hayden over her continuing online harassment. Farrow’s post revealed Hayden’s full address, alongside a comment misgendering Hayden.The tweet has since been deleted, but VICE News has reviewed an archived version of the message to confirm the contents of the post.Hayden complained to the police about this post, together with other posts where Farrow called her a “pedophile” and accused her of stalking Farrow’s eldest daughter.“[The combination of] the address being published, the pedophile allegation and targeting her daughter, that was calculated by Farrow to whip up a frenzy which could cause me significant problems,” Hayden told VICE News.Separately, police received another complaint, made by a third party, accusing Farrow of posting a cartoon on Kiwi Farms under a pseudonym. The cartoon depicted Hayden as a Nazi guard in a concentration camp, Hayden alleged, putting comedy writer and transphobe Graham Linehan in a gas chamber. The cartoon was accompanied by the phrase “tranny gas.”Farrow claimed on Twitter that she could not have posted the cartoon in question because on the date the cartoon was posted she was playing the organ at her local church.
“Anyone who has played organ for Mass will understand that you cannot be playing on your phone and posting on the internet. It’s not just hymns but also the Mass setting,” Farrow tweeted.VICE News was unable to find the post on Kiwi Farms, although Farrow did post on the site on the date in question using her own name.Farrow is one of the very few users of Kiwi Farms who has a verified account in her own name, where she describes herself as the “Bulwark of the Catholic Church in the UK.” She has been a member of the hate site since March 2020 and has posted over 140 times.Last month she criticized her local police for supporting trans rights. “Wondering if I am going to get a visit from the coppers asking me if I have a license to post… on the KiwiFarms? Knowing the lamentable state of my local force and how ideologically welded they are to rainbow nonsense, most probably!!”She contributed to the discussion on the site last month about trans activist Clara “Keffals” Sorrenti, who was doxxed on the site, leading to a successful swatting attempt at her home in Canada.That led to a high-profile campaign to take Kiwi Farms offline, which briefly succeeded last month—though in recent weeks, the owner of the site, Josh Moon, has managed to get the forum up and running again.Moon declined to comment when asked if he had been contacted by police in the UK investigating Farrow’s use of the site. Farrow, who labelled gay penguins in London Zoo “deviants,” is campaign director for the UK and Ireland at the ultra-conservative group CitizenGo, which has organized anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ protests across Europe and Africa. Farrow has in the past said that she “rejects the idea of feminism outright.”Despite this, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, a self-described feminist, tweeted a message of support to Farrow in March. “Big love to you,” tweeted Rowling, who has posted transphobic messages on social media, after Farrow said her life was being “invaded and dominated by insane trans rights activists.”Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here.