Tech by VICE

Knitting Community Website Ravelry Has Banned Support of Donald Trump

Ravelry, which has 8.5 million members, will not allow 'support for open white supremacy' on its platform.

by Nicole Carpenter
Jun 24 2019, 1:59pm

Image: Image: Foundry Co/Pixabay

Knitting and fiber arts social media website Ravely has banned public support of Donald Trump and his administration, according to a new policy posted to the site on Sunday.

Ravelry is a free website that launched in May 2007 by Jessica and Casey Forbes. The website allows its 8.5 million members to post patterns, notes, and communicate via forums. All fiber arts are welcome on the site, including knitting, crochet, weaving, and spinning. Ravelry is still operated by Jessica and Casey Forbes and a small team—three other employees are listed on the website.

"We cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow for open white supremacy," Ravelry wrote in its new policy. "Support of the Trump administration is undeniably support for white supremacy."

Per the new policy, Ravelry members will be banned for expressing support for Trump in projects, patterns, forum posts, and profiles. Ravelry noted, however, that it will not delete project data and banned users will be able to access previously purchased patterns. Users can still participate on the website if they do support Trump, but are advised not to discuss it here. Ravelry also made it clear that it's not banning conservative politics, nor is it endorsing Democrats and banning Republicans.

"Hate groups and intolerance are different from other types of political positions," Ravelry wrote in its policy.

A Ravelry representative declined to comment to VICE on the policy, but pointed to a role-playing gaming website, RPG.net, as credit for the policy. In October 2019, RPG.net posted a new policy forbidding users from posting support for Trump.

"We are banning support of Donald Trump or his administration on the RPGnet forums," an RPG.net administrator posted in 2018. "This is because his public comments, policies, and the makeup of his administration are so wholly incompatible with our values that formal political neutrality is not tenable. We can be welcoming to (for example) persons of every ethnicity who want to talk about games, or we can allow support for open white supremacy. Not both. Below will be an outline of the policy and a very incomplete set of citations."

Some may find it surprising to see a fiber arts social media site take a stand against the Trump administration, but this move is part of a months-long, ongoing discussion of racism in the community. The knitting community has been openly contending with racism, particularly through Instagram. The conversation was sparked after a popular knitting blogger, Karen Templer, blogged about an upcoming trip to India, in which she compared the country to Mars. Women of color in the knitting community led the ongoing discussion of racism and white privilege in the knitting world. Templar has since apologized for the post. Many fiber brands have shown support for the ongoing discussion, but Ravelry's new policy is a major show of support from a massive community.