What a tangled web politics can weave — even when it comes to crafting.
Ravelry — a popular knitting and crocheting online community that boasts millions of users — is banning forum posts, projects, patterns, profiles and all other content that “constitute support” for President Trump or his administration.
“We cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy,” an announcement posted Sunday on the site read. “Support of the Trump administration is undeniably support for white supremacy.”
Some users weren’t happy about the news. They said the change would prompt them to immediately shut down their accounts, while others questioned the claim of being “inclusive while banning or censoring half the country for supporting” Trump.
“I am just guessing that you didn’t ban Obama supporters,” a reply to the post read. “I am removing my account and will be spreading the word that others should do so as well.”
The new policy at the user-driven forum still allows Trump fans to use it as a place for “knitters, crocheters, designers, spinners, weavers and dyers” to share all their latest projects and techniques, but talking about the current commander-in-chief is a strict no-no moving forward.
“We are not endorsing the Democrats nor banning Republicans,” the announcement continued. “We are definitely not banning conservative politics. Hate groups and intolerance are different from other types of political positions.”
Ravelry said it would not ban users for “past support” of Trump or his administration and warned against anyone “trying to weaponize this policy by entrapping people” who back Trump into singing his praises on the social networking site.
“Similarly, antagonizing conservative members for their unstated positions is not acceptable,” the announcement read.
The new policy, which was modeled after a similar set of rules used by a roleplaying game website called RPGnet, was met with immediate skepticism and fervent replies on social media, including some people who thought the proclamation was a hoax.
“Has someone hacked your account?” one Twitter user asked.
“This is very real,” read a reply by Ravelry to its 117,000 Twitter followers.
More than 832,000 people have used Ravelry within the past month, according to its website. It has more than 8 million members, Business Insider reported.
A message seeking additional comment from its reps was not immediately returned early Monday.
The website also asked users to flag projects, patterns, forum posts and profiles that support Trump, but promised that anyone banned due to the new policy would still be able to access their purchases and to receive a copy of their data.
But at least one critic of the move questioned the idea of a knitting community “getting involved in politics” and potentially alienating a large segment of its members.
“You are literally doing the opposite of including as you [are] excluding a lot of people,” one user replied. “It’s just sad that this is what people think.”
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