World's Biggest Knitting Social Network Bans Millions of Users From Posting About Trump Because It Is 'Undeniably Support for White Supremacy'

A vast online community of knitters has banned favorable posts about Donald Trump, claiming such content is "undeniably support for white supremacy."

Ravelry, a social network with 8 million members, according to Business Insider, said in a blog post yesterday that users can still participate if they support Trump, but they are now not allowed to praise his administration on the site. Violating the policy can result in a ban.

It said: "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."

Ravelry, which launched in 2007, is designed and marketed as a space for knitters, crocheters and designers to "keep track of their yarn, tools, project and pattern information, and look to others for ideas and inspiration," according to its About Us page. Much like Pinterest, it helps users compare designs and patterns, while connecting with others in the niche community.

We are banning support of Donald Trump and his administration on Ravelry. We cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy. More details:

— Ravelry (@ravelry) June 23, 2019

According to its anti-Trump policy, support is banned in forum posts and personal profiles. It said no users who have voiced support for Trump in the past will be banned. Furthermore, the social network explicitly noted it is not endorsing the Democrats or banning Republicans.

"We are definitely not banning conservative politics. Hate groups and intolerance are different from other types of political positions," the blog post continued. "Do not try to weaponize this policy by entrapping people who do support the Trump administration into voicing their support. Similarly, antagonizing conservative members for their unstated positions is not acceptable."

The announcement, which was also posted to Twitter on Sunday, caused a stir across social media as fans and critics debated the merits and consequences of such a ban.

University of Alabama law professor Joyce Vance tweeted: "I'm proud to have been a member of Ravelry since 2007, member no. 6377 out of approximately 8,000,000 knitters & crocheters who are members today. Same folks who knit hats for the women's march taking the lead on calling out hate." Another Twitter user commented: "If only Twitter had this kind of courage."

But not everyone embraced the policy, with some tweets calling out the website's Twitter bio which describes the social network as "inclusive" and "friendly."

One person responded: "I hope the decision hurts your bottom line." The announcement tweet has since been shared thousands of times and has attracted more than 50,000 likes.

Ravelry said permanently banned accounts will be sent a copy of their data, including purchased patterns, and the new policy had used wording first set by gaming platform last year.

"[Donald Trump's] public comments, policies, and the makeup of his administration are so wholly incompatible with our values that formal political neutrality is not tenable," the platform administrators wrote in a forum update at the time. "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."

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump hosting Slovak Republic Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini in the Oval Office at the White House on May 3 in Washington, DC. This week, a social network for knitters banned support for the president and his administration. Chip Somodevilla/Getty