The longtime internet knitting community Ravelry updated its content policy this week to ban support of President Donald Trump from the platform. The new policy holds that support for Trump is support for white supremacy, which is not conducive to positive community-building.
Ravelry’s announcement of the policy change, made on Twitter on June 23, was short and to the point, noting, “We cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy.”
Ravelry said its new policy is not an indication of support for one party over the other. It also said members are not allowed to entrap Trump admirers into political discourse on the site.
“Antagonizing conservative members for their unstated positions is not acceptable,” administrators warned.
Reaction to the policy has been nearly as polarized as reactions to the president himself. Conservatives and Trump supporters have roundly criticized the changes, saying Ravelry’s administrators are biased and limiting free speech.
“This is equal to bakers who won’t bake a cake for a same sex marriage,” wrote one Twitter user who goes by Pamelapoppins. “Politicizing ravelry leaves a bad taste in my mouth.”
A Ravelry member named Debra took issue with being equated with a racist because she supports Trump.
“I support our president and the Trump administration and I am not a white supremacist nor do I support white supremacy,” she tweeted. “I am a conservative. How dare you call me [a supremacist].”
Some see the move as one that could reverberate well outside the crafting sphere.
The new guidelines come as social media companies, including behemoths such as Facebook and YouTube, are grappling with how to deal with the use of their platforms by white supremacist groups to spread racist messages or misinformation across the Internet. The Ravelry team says it based its new policy on similar changes made by the role-playing game hub RPGnet last year.
support for open white supremacy.”