Ravelry, the knitting website, bans Trump speeches and models : NPR

Ravelry, an online knitting community with 8 million members, announced on Sunday that it was banning all pro-Trump projects, patterns and forum threads from the site, saying: “Support from the Trump administration is undeniably support to white supremacy”.

Alejandro Pagni/AFP/Getty Images


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Alejandro Pagni/AFP/Getty Images


Ravelry, an online knitting community with 8 million members, announced on Sunday that it was banning all pro-Trump projects, patterns and forum threads from the site, saying: “Support from the Trump administration is undeniably support to white supremacy”.

Alejandro Pagni/AFP/Getty Images

Popular knitting and crochet website Ravelry says its 8 million members are welcome to pick their way through thousands of patterns online, but if they want to carry on with pro-Trump views, they have to. do elsewhere.

Website administrators announced on Sunday that Ravelry “prohibits support for Donald Trump and his administration” in any form, including “forum posts, projects, models, profiles” and anything else. .

“We cannot provide an inclusive space for all and also allow support for open white supremacy. Support for the Trump administration is undeniably support for white supremacy,” Ravelry said in a statement. declaration.

Ravelry said his new policy is not an indication of support for one party over the other. He also said members are not allowed to entrap Trump admirers in political speech on the site.

“Hanging down conservative members for their undeclared positions is not acceptable,” the administrators warned.

They did not specify any aspect of the Trump administration’s policies that they consider white supremacist.

Since Trump’s election, there has been a scattering of political models posted on the site – which in turn have sparked heated discussions in its forums. Perhaps the most popular of these is the pink “pussyhat” which became ubiquitous at women’s marches in 2017 and became the symbol of a feminist rallying cry against Trump for his remarks about women.

In another deviation into explicitly political territory, a scarf pattern creates an illusion that makes it look like “harmless stripes from the front, but says F*** TRUMP when viewed from an angle”.

There are also pro-Trump projects. A member by the name of Deplorable Knitter has posted several beanie and scarf patterns that echo the slogan “Make America Great Again”, as well as “build the wall” and Asset 2020 pictures.

Reaction to the policy has been almost as polarized as reactions to the president himself. Conservatives and Trump supporters have strongly criticized the changes, saying Ravelry administrators are biased and limit free speech.

“That equates to bakers not baking cake for a gay wedding,” wrote a Twitter user who goes by Pamelapoppins. “The politicization of Ravelry leaves a bad taste in my mouth.”

A Ravelry member named Debra took issue with being called a racist because she supports Trump.

“I support our president and the Trump administration and I’m not white supremacist and I don’t support white supremacy either,” she said. tweeted. “I’m a conservative. How dare you call me [a supremacist].”

“I’ve been using Ravelry for years, but never again,” Debra added. “I am closing my account immediately!”

One woman, who said she is one of many Ravelry forum moderators, tweeted: “I can say that the emotional work of defusing situations of anger and ugliness where the occasional hate and intolerance is directed against queer, non-Christian or minority people is really exhausting.”

Author and knitter Clara Parkes called the shift a “watershed moment.” In one Tweeter of the controversy, she wrote, “I’ve been with them since 2007, and believe me, they don’t take these steps lightly.”

Some see the move as one that could reverberate well outside of the craft sphere.

The new guidelines come as social media companies, including giants such as Facebook and YouTube, grapple with how to handle the use of their platforms by white supremacist groups to spread racist messages or misinformation on the internet. The Ravelry team says they based their new policy on similar changes made by role-playing game hub RPGnet last year.

About Tracy G. Larimore

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