Social Media

A Social Media Platform Has Banned Support of Trump 

It's Ravelry, and it's not just a "knitting site."

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The primary social network for a large and growing community has banned all positive discussion of Donald Trump and his administration. The official explanation proclaims "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."

While conservatives and liberals have been warring for control over social media, no one expected the first major political ban to occur on Ravelry, which most of the coverage has described as a "knitting site."

But it's much more than that.

I knit and crochet, and I've been a member of Ravelry for years. The site is much greater than a place for craft chat; it has over 8 million members. For lots of us, it is our main social media destination. Like other social media sites, Ravelry allows users to create groups—and there are groups for pretty much everything: work, food, travel, literature, relationships, kids, pets. There are members who continue to be active group participants years after they gave up trying to work out how to turn a heel. 

I've made real-life friends through it—and we rarely discuss actual knitting. I don't participate in the political groups (the libertarian groups have roughly 100 members and are largely inactive). But even in the non-political groups, politics inevitably creep through. 

For the most part, Ravelry's politics lean left. Before the 2016 election, the pro-Hillary Clinton perspective was obvious across much of the site. When Trump became president, I saw lots of discussions focusing on offering "comfort" in the face of this painful event. Ravelry also became a focal point for people seeking patterns to make the Pussy Hats that many wore to the Women's March—and photos of members who attended the marches were prominently featured on the home page. Although Ravelry has users from around the world, it is U.S.-based and its political discussions are largely U.S.-focused.

Despite the large size of its user base, Ravelry has a small staff. It started as a project of a husband and wife team, who had no idea they were creating the Facebook of crafts, and it is still run by only five people. Those people have always worn their left-progressive perspectives on their sleeves. They have long made a point of their LGBT-friendliness, with rainbow flags during Pride month—sometimes to the consternation of older, conservative, users. Feminist and pro-choice messages abound. And designers who use the site regularly announce that they are giving a portion of sales to organizations such as Planned Parenthood or the American Civil Liberties Union. 

Those who are surprised that the site has declared itself part of the #resistance seem to be people who have never visited Ravelry, and who think it is just some noticeboard for grannies discussing baby booties. But to anyone familiar with the site, such a move does not come as a shock. Even the members who think this ban is ill-judged seem pissed-off, but not surprised. 

Ravelry's success has come as part of a revival of knitting among hipsters—many of whom express left-leaning political positions. Along with retro dresses and cocktails in mason jars, the allure of the handmade (like the local, the artisanal) is strong among the hip and woke. Think Portlandia, not Golden Girls. They are the kind of people who want to find a new knitting pattern from their smartphone, rather than having to shuffle through the yarn-company offerings in the wire rack at Jo-Ann.

That's the other side of Ravelry. It's not just a discussion forum but an online store. It offers the world's largest database of patterns for knitting and crochet, and is the first stop for many crafters looking to buy patterns—even if they don't participate on the site in other ways. In many independent yarn stores, you can expect to find a computer set up entirely for shoppers to find patterns on Ravelry. As an online merchant, it is the main point of sale for lots of designers. Indeed, offering a pattern for sale on Ravelry is often the first step for a fledgling designer. 

This market dominance is what makes Ravelry's move important. It is a bold move for a site of this size and commercial reach to ban pro-Trump speech. It remains to be seen if large numbers of non-vocal Republicans will leave in protest. The hashtags #byeravelry and #walkawayravelry are active on Twitter, and some angry users are also sharing their thoughts on Ravelry's Facebook page. These people generally note that banning one political view is not "inclusive" or "tolerant" at all. 

I expect the Ravelry owners will stick to their guns—as is their right.

For a large social networking site to ban a political viewpoint might be a bellwether for where the culture war is headed. It is also a test of the "go woke, go broke" theory, which posits that taking a strong political stand will hurt a business' bottom line. Other social media sites will certainly be watching to see if Ravelry suffers or succeeds. 

NEXT: Attempt to Vanish Newspaper Articles About Elected School District Trustee Lynette Boggs-Perez

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  1. Because >40% of the US population are white supremacists. Sounds totally sane.

    1. Trump distinguished himself from the other 16-17 Republicans running for president in 2016 by his open racism/white supremacy/birtherism.

      He fumbled around on all the other pet GOP issues that attract the Aborto-Freaks and and flagwavers to the party.

      So yes, bigotry (not necessarily Aryan Supremacy) got him elected POTUS.

      1. Well said, Mr. Buttplug.

        I would also mention that in addition to bigotry, Drumpf was helped by Russian hacking, the Comey letter, and the media’s outrageous anti-Clinton bias.

        1. BEN CARSON DOUBLES DOWN ON SATAN-CLINTON CONNECTION
          Is Hillary Clinton an agent of evil? Dr. Carson presents the evidence.

          https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/07/ben-carson-clinton-lucifer

          Turns out conservatives were right about Hil-Dog all along. Uber conservative and righteous Negro “Dr” Ben Carson had Hillary pegged all the way.

          1. And it turns out all of us here are correct about your penchant for pedophilia.

            You really should be put to death as a violent child rapist.

            1. That certainly does sound like something that should be criminalized, outlawed, and banned, along with any social media site that allows the use of its platform to perpetrate inappropriate “parody.” See the documentation of our nation’s leading criminal “satire” case at:

              https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

      2. Trump disavowed his birtherism, and never had any racism or white supremacy to tout. He always said he wanted a nice golden door in the yuge wall for legal immigrants.

    2. Lefties never do explain what race Americans are, so Americans can be properly racist.

    3. ITT, some people I embarrassed cry about me

    4. It’s fucking nuts. He’s been president for over 2 years now. What evidence is there that the administration has any interest in white supremacy? I find it incredible that people are still saying shit like that as if it is obviously true.

    5. Because what ever the actual percentage of white supremacists is, that percentage is a subset of the 40%.

  2. I smell something fishy here. A social media site for “knitting” that few had heard of yesterday has warranted a lot of discussion over its controversial content ban. Something tells me someone needed some scuttlebutt to get users interested in their D-list site. Everyone knows that a platform that professes a totally open free speech zone is alt-right and shunned by the media. So what other tack to go on?

  3. Hopefully one day all this will be sorted out, by the San Andreas fault.

    1. see you down in Arizona Bay.

    2. If the crops aren’t totally rained out this year, I’ll bring the popcorn.

  4. Some of those who voted for Trump also voted for Obama. So racist.

    Also nobody cares about people who sew pussy hats. Fact.

    1. Knit. They knit pussy hats.

      You people with sewing machines think you’re so superior.

      1. Sewing… machine? What witchcraft is this? Do you know how many people will be put out of work by these infernal engines?

        1. not as many as the sweater knitters put out of work who used to make cloaks out of animal hides.

          1. Mmmm, sweater kittens.

      2. We are.

        I’m a proud Sewing Supremacist. And my machine is white. Take that.

  5. I hate Trump as much as anyone and honestly don’t care about what this website decides to do, but nobody needs a safe space from reality. The funny thing is that Trump brainrot can so easily be defeated in the arena of ideas. How about just do that.

    1. At some point during the past 5-10 years, hearing opinions you don’t agree with became a form of torture.

      1. Wait, it’s not already considered torture?

  6. Drumpf’s regime has created literal CONCENTRATION CAMPS for brown bodies. Of course anyone who still supports him is an alt-right white supremacist.

    #AbolishConcentrationCamps
    #Resist

    1. And, what, pray tell, should we do instead? Put them in actual prisons instead of prison-light? Send them away without trial or hearing (note: this is always an option if they wish to take it)?

      1. Like all serious libertarians, I support 100% open borders. Anyone who enters the United States — even unaccompanied minors — should be given immediate citizenship, voting rights, housing, medical care, and ESL classes if necessary.

        1. I just read that a record 144,000 Central Americans streamed into the US in May.

          With The Dotard’s miserable record in that regard maybe you should reconsider voting for Kamala Harris and vote for Trump instead. With all those migrants coming in and record debt/deficits who needs Democrats anyway?

          1. Don’t get me wrong, like any Koch / Reason libertarian I want (at least!) hundreds of thousands of new immigrants per month.

            But haven’t you been following the news? Orange Hitler has built LITERAL CONCENTRATION CAMPS for them. Children are being LITERALLY TORTURED. That’s completely unacceptable — and it would never happen under Kamala Harris, or any Democratic President.

            #VoteDemocratForOpenBorders

            1. Due to a lice outbreak the guards are having to shave the heads of the little campers. And yes, they are stamping numbers on them for identification purposes. And sadly there have been a couple of dozen deaths.

              But you know the Lamestream Media will be depicting those dead shaven-headed inmates as being held in “concentration camps”. But the REAL DEATH PANEL is Obamacare!!!!

              1. Hey Kiddie Raper, you do know you’re conversing with a parody account when you repost to OBL, right?

                Fucking subnormal idiot.

    2. #AbolishObamaConcentrationCamps
      #ResistAllStatists

    3. Concentration camps existed long before Trump; they’re called public schools.

    4. “”Drumpf’s regime has created literal CONCENTRATION CAMPS for brown bodies.””

      He’s just trying to be a Jimmy Carter.

  7. New website name coming: defarge.pussyhats.com

    1. and you can trademark it now

  8. That Ravelry continues to believe themselves inclusive is such a joke. I had been a member since the last administration. The acrimony and hatefulness have escalated with neither side being wholly innocent. This policy is infuriating from a libertarian perspective. I expect an uptick in members but I hope that their bottom line sees the kind of fall they deserve.

    1. They sound seditious to me. A good example of why we need to bring back McCarthyism.

      1. I feel I must remind you that tail gunner Joe did in fact find communists operating within the US Government.
        Sort of like now, except back then it was considered a bad thing, not #resistance to free and open elections.

        1. Tail Gunner… Joe Biden? He’s got your “back”.

        2. McCarthy was right… See the following decades when the leftist infiltrators started using their power. That’s why I find it so hilarious when people bring him up as an example of a witch hunt or being crazy… He was hunting, but unlike witches, the people he was after were real.

  9. I suggest those bitches knit themselves cat doors so Fluffy and Boots have the option of running away or subsisting on songbirds rather than being trapped inside to dine on their mistresses’ old cold and lonely corpses when the kibble runs out.

  10. First, only idiots believe in White Supremacy; everybody else knows that the Laotians are clearly the highest form of humanity.
    Second, only idiots believe that true White Supremacists are more than 1% of the US population.

    1. 0.0001% is closer.

      1. 1 in a milion? I think there are probably more than 320 white supremacists in the country.

    2. They literally taught us in Spanish class that Mexicans called themselves ‘La Raza’, *the* race, and they believe they have a Divine right to the US Southwest that was stolen from Mexico.

      1. As somebody who grew up in Cali, and is part Mexican… In my experience Mexicans are the most openly racist people I have ever met in my life. They feel protected for being tan, unlike whites, so they just go to town railing on blacks especially, but also whites and anybody else.

    3. But there are a lot more people who believe in equal treatment under the law… And that’s tantamount to white supremacy! According to leftist idiots anyway…

  11. I’m finding it interesting that we’ve had two stories so far on an already left-leaning crafting site with only about 8 million users world wide acting like the SJWs it sounds like their users already knew they were and basically nothing about the veritas/google/pinterest situation which is far more concerning – not that google & pinterest seem to be censoring conservatives but that the proof of that is being stripped from social media platforms in what appears to be a case of big tech protecting itself from criticism.

    1. Progress uber alles

  12. “undeniably”

    I do not think it means what you think it means.

    1. Harvey Weinstein is undeniably a rapist?

  13. Ms. Gulliver spins quite the yarn.

    Now that that’s out of the way, we can probably all acknowledge that bubbles make for poor intellectual performance in the arena of ideas. Echo chambers aren’t good for honing debate skills. But then the world is full of those not interested in backing their positions with logic.

    And this site’s runners have found an other to rail against and demonize. Sounds familiar.

    1. Their whole argument unravels if you start pulling at loose threads though.

      1. If you want to destroy my sweater…

  14. Whatever happened to “Private company, they can do what they want! Move along! Nothing to see here!” in the rugged wilds of Libertopia?

    1. I expect the Ravelry owners will stick to their guns—as is their right.

      Whatever happened to RTFA?

      1. Removing Tulpa’s Final Analbead? Are you sure that’s really relevant?

        1. Why do people I don’t care about name check me like I live in their heads?

          1. Esmeralda is the new paid team blue dumbass. Ignore him.

  15. Someday a Democrat will be President again and then the hero worship can begin again. Barf. I prefer this to that.

    1. This type of silencing of dissent signals a desperation that means that a Democrat will likely never be President again.

      The Party of slavery is done for.

      1. Yes, your track record is so good you predicted a GOP House sweep in 2018 – you miserable piece of Trump-trash.

        1. Poor child fucker.

        2. Hey Kiddie Raper, how’s that Mueller report working out for you? Is it Mueller Time yet?

          Stupid asshole.

        3. Fuck off, kid diddler.

  16. “Oh what a tangled web we weave
    When we let R&D politicians us deceive.”

    Revelry would get a little respect from me if they banned support for both parties. I mean, it’s a flipping craft site. Is it that hard to tell people to check their stupid politics at the door?

    Get a life. There’s more to care about than people’s feelings either pro- or anti-Trump.

    1. They think that banning support for Trump is not the same as banning support for Republicans. “They actually think they can ban Trump and be viewpoint-neutral.

      It’s a weird kind of bubble they live in.

      1. Curious to see how the pink pussy hat debate went on over there, after it got too straight and white.

    2. If I ever run a forum site, one of the first rules I would set would be “no partisan politics, regardless of party”. Just talking policy is fine, most people can deal with that. Even an abortion discusses ends up being more civil than a Drumpf/Boosh/Hitlery discussion.

      1. But you can’t discuss policy without discussing partisan politics… So you’d need a strict ban on talking about politics, and indeed many aspects of personal lives, because they’re political.

  17. (the libertarian groups have roughly 100 members and are largely inactive).

    So Tulpa has poisoned that site too?

    1. We thought you were banned again for child porn.

    2. Hey Kiddie Raper, it really is no surprise that a nasty pile of offal, such as yourself, who is completely devoid of integrity, honesty, decency, and character, turns out be a sexual predator of children.

      You really are the poster weasel for progressives.

      1. So Screech and the weird unfunny leftist both prove I own their souls in the same article.

        Total coincidence I’m sure.

  18. Wait, who is Katrina Gulliver? I read the article without paying attention to who wrote it and just assumed it was Robbie.

    1. I’m interested in hearing if her travels.

      1. If her travels… Involve a sisterhood of macramed pants?

        1. That could make for a good porn parody of a better known movie.

  19. It’s a knitting site.

  20. A social media no one has ever heard of banned Trump, so now thanks to Reason people have heard of them.

    1. Quillette did an article or two on them as well.

  21. We need common sense knitting needle control! They are gateway needles!

  22. Random thoughts:
    Has Katrina Gulliver stopped using the site, and withdrawn her content?
    How can a left wing site ‘stick to it’s guns’? They hate guns.
    I am glad she at least spelled out Pussy Hats, instead of the inane P-ssy Hat. Cat lovers everywhere rejoice.
    Who really cares about any one specific site becoming an adjunct of the Democratic party? Now they have to report all earnings as political contributions, or the IRS will get them.
    And lastly, I need more coffee; this is incoherent.

  23. This was previously covered here: https://reason.com/2019/06/24/ravelry-knitting-trump-ban-website/
    From what I’ve heard, Ravelry has ~5 employees, and the moderators are unpaid. I’m not a member, so take that as you will.
    The ban’s language is based on a similar ban on rpg.net. The rpg.net mods (again, unpaid) found that dealing with pro-Trump users was taking up too much of their time, so they instituted a blanket ban. Lest you think that it’s all about Trump, they also issued a moratorium on all US Political discussions for two weeks about a month ago.

    1. I’m sure they’ll jump right on banning those Team Blue people. (/sarcasm)

  24. And just so you know the intelligence of the people that are freaking out over this, rpg.net (for people who play D&D and similar games) has been getting a ton of “delete my account, and send me my patterns, dammit” emails.

    1. Rpg.net has knitting patterns too?

      1. Nope. Some people apparently like to flail about with their outrage.

    2. Happened a while ago, before shirtbird Trump became POTUS. RPG.net has basically been a haven for Chocolate Nixon cocksmokers for a while and they’ve been rather open about it.

  25. > rather than having to shuffle through the yarn-company offerings in the wire rack at Jo-Ann.

    Or goddess forbid, Hobby Lobby!

  26. >>>For lots of us, it is our main social media destination.

    try a boyfriend. and sunlight.

  27. I want to see a social media site ban all political and current events discussion.

  28. You know who else banned a good chunk of their user base?

  29. What the fuck does “ravelry” mean?
    And why would a knitting site censor speech?
    Jesus, what next?
    A shoe shine kick someone off their website for being politically incorrect?

  30. Wouldn’t it have been a shorter notice to just say “We don’t want your kind around here!”?
    How is this business discriminating based on political orientation different from a brick and mortar store discriminating based on sexual orientation?

  31. Hi,
    I’m looking for a pattern for a pouch to take my aborted fetus home in. I understand they’re going to puree it in the process so maybe something that will slip over a mason jar. I’m sure this is a common need so would someone point me in the right directions? Thanks! xoxoxoxxo

  32. Knitters are mostly women. Most women are left leaning. Therefore I don’t think this will hurt them much financially, but it is still as stupid as the day is long. Keep turning up the heat commies, your day will come.

  33. Anyone else following Penzey spices?

  34. […] “A Social Media Platform Has Banned Support of Trump,” by Katrina Gulliver […]

  35. […] “A Social Media Platform Has Banned Support of Trump,” by Katrina Gulliver […]

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