Roughly 9 million knitters and crocheters communicate, trade tips and share or sell patterns in the Ravelry social media network. But in 2019 Ravelry decided to become more “inclusive,” by becoming exclusive.
First it banned Deplorable Knitter on June 21, after someone claimed her “Make America Great Again” cowl pattern was “hate speech.” She told MIT Technology Review she was bullied and threatened over her politics. Two days later, Ravelry formally banned all manner of support for President Donald Trump and his administration and defined such support as white supremacy.
Ravelry banned “forum posts, projects, patterns, profiles, and all other content” promoting Trump or his policies. It declared, “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.”
In the updated community guidelines the knitting site declared that any support for him or policies that “harm marginalized groups” would all be considered hate speech by Ravelry.
It told Trump supporters they would not be banned, but could not talk about it in the community.
Some conservatives complained and canceled accounts over the blatant viewpoint discrimination, according to Vox. It cited gay conservative knitter Gregory Patrick, who wrote: “I deleted my account because their decision to ban support of Trump only helps to perpetuate this massive hysteria that has overwhelmed this craft for a long while now.” Patrick told Vox that in 10 years on Ravelry he’d seen plenty of “hatred” coming from liberals in the community.
- MIT’s Technology Review reported that Ravelry’s decision to ban Trump support caused a “schism” in the knitting community. Conservatives fled in the #ravelryexodus.
- Ravelry defined pro-Trump content as white supremacy and hate speech on June 23, 2019.
- Ravelry banned the Deplorable Knitter on June 21, 2019, after banning past projects including a Make America Great Again cowl and a Build the Wall beanie.
- The unmoderated knitting site became much more political with the election of Trump 2016 and 2017 as liberal knitters created and popularized “pussy hats” as protest garb.
Contact Ravelry: Through the Ravelry website.