To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle.
--- George Orwell

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Notes On Twee: Yarn Police Unravel Over Trump Supporters Inside Their Circle

More news about the nation’s fraying political, social and cultural fabric came the other day from the Washington Post. According to the Post,  Ravelry, an 8-million-strong social network known as the “Facebook of knitting,” has banned all support for Trump and his administration. “We cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy,” Ravelry declared. “Support of the Trump administration is undeniably support for white supremacy.” 

According to the Postthe ban cuts across all aspects of the site, including “forum posts, projects, patterns, profiles” and anything else. 

The site did not explain which Trump policies it believes signify white supremacist ideology, taking pains to note that “We are definitely not banning conservative politics.” But it added that  “Hate groups and intolerance are different from other types of political positions,” and warned users not to goad others into voicing support for Trump. 

The Post noted that “Some longtime Ravelry users welcomed the move, saying the toxicity of online political discourse has plagued their quiet hobbyist refuge, though others expressed concern over the policy.” One self-proclaimed knitter tweeted that “Politicizing ravelry leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Ravelry said its policy was largely inspired by, a hub for role-playing game enthusiasts, which banned public support of Trump in October. In announcing its ban, RPG.netsaid that 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.”  

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