In a bold move today, Ravelry, the social network for yarn enthusiasts, has banned posts that support president Donald Trump and his administration. A public statement posted on the site today reads, in part, “We are banning support of Donald Trump and his administration on Ravelry. This includes support in the form of forum posts, projects, patterns, profiles, and all other content.”
The statement goes on to say, “We cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy. Support of the Trump administration is undeniably support for white supremacy.” The statement was inspired by a similar statement made on October 29, 2018, on the roleplaying site RPG.org.
User data will not be deleted no matter their political expression and banned users will still be able to access their past purchases. The ban will not be enacted retroactively and Ravelry has specified that users should not antagonize conservative members for their unstated positions.
Ravelry team members: (L to R) Casey, Jessica, Christina, Sarah and Mary-Heather.
Ravelry is a privately held company owned by Casey Forbes and his wife, Jess and run by a small team. The site celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2017. It’s been bootstrapped from the beginning, earning revenue through advertising without outside investors.
This is not the first time the company has taken a political stand. A pride flag has been part of the Ravelry logo for a long while now and Casey and Jess have had a no tolerance policy towards accounts that express views against gay rights. This morning’s announcement has been met with overwhelming support on Twitter where it had already garnered over 10,000 likes in just a few hours. Here are just a few samples of the responses:
I’m consistently so impressed by the way the @ravelry team takes a stand on issues that matter and works for what’s right. I really respect and appreciate your work – and I know it can’t be easy! Thank you.
— Austen Gilliland (@AustenGilliland) June 23, 2019
Wow, this is a really bold step for the site and I love it! I really admire placing the safety of underrepresented groups over other priorities. Keep doing an amazing job!
— Maggie Wiggin (@maggie162) June 23, 2019
Although certainly, not everyone is happy with the decision.
This is equal to bakers who wont bake a cake for a same sexmarriage. Some can play. Some can’t. Plus…who goes to ravelry looking for #trump talk/patterns/rhetoric? Politicizing ravelry leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
— pamelapoppins (@artesepam) June 23, 2019
Blocking has already begun. Twitter user @pancho says they’ve already been blocked for expressing admiration for Donald Trump.
I could cry. What has the world come to. In a forum thread I just remarked how I admire Donald Trump and this is what I immediately received in my in-box: pic.twitter.com/MbD9bfd9ae
— Pancho (@Pancho93528792) June 23, 2019
Others expressed sentiments such as this one:
Yes! 👏 I’ve read your full statement on the @ravelry site and thank you so much for taking a stand against white supremacy. Many have said “why can’t we just knit in peace” on Rav but that’s not possible if racism and hate are allowed to flourish. #iloveravelry 💜
— Trish Austad (@Trishington) June 23, 2019
EDITED June 26, 2019: We’ve decided to remove the commenting thread on this post and to close comments. Our comment section was devolving into a place of personal attacks which was not something we felt comfortable with. Thank you.