The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Ravelry, the Facebook of knitting, has banned pro-Trump posts over ‘open white supremacy’


Scarves, gloves, shawls, caps — if it can be knit or crocheted, you can probably find a design for it on Ravelry.

It just can’t resemble President Trump.

Ravelry, an 8-million-strong social network known as the “Facebook of knitting” and behemoth of all things soothingly created with needlework, has banned all support for Trump and his administration, it announced Sunday.

It’s another indication that politics has seeped everywhere — including forums where you can discuss which yarn works best to create crochet bunnies.

“We cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy,” the site said. “Support of the Trump administration is undeniably support for white supremacy.”

The site did not explain which Trump policies it believes signify white supremacist ideology, though the president was roundly criticized for not condemning white nationalist violence after Charlottesville’s 2017 Unite The Right rally. The white supremacist demonstration had “very fine people on both sides,” Trump said, after one counterprotester was killed.

The ban cuts across all aspects of the site, including “forum posts, projects, patterns, profiles” and anything else, the announcement said.

Administrators explained project data would be saved and delivered to the user if they violated the new terms, and anyone permanently banned could still access patterns they have purchased. But they also stressed the site was not endorsing Democrats and shunning Republicans with its move.

Pepe the Frog’s creator won a $15,000 copyright settlement against Infowars

“We are definitely not banning conservative politics. Hate groups and intolerance are different from other types of political positions,” Ravelry said, warning users not to goad others into voicing support for Trump.

Ravelry, a private site created in 2007, has transformed from a niche discussion board to a digital marketplace where users can sell their wares and swap patterns in a global community.

The site has registered 8 million users, The Post previously reported, and has caught the eye of researchers interested in microbusinesses spawned by hobbyists turned entrepreneurs, many of whom start their own shops after finding solidarity and confidence in offline “stitch n’ bitch” groups, The Post’s Andrew Van Dam reported.

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.

“Politicizing ravelry leaves a bad taste in my mouth,” one self-proclaimed knitter wrote in response to Ravelry’s post on Twitter.

Ravelry said its policy was largely inspired by, a hub for role-playing game enthusiasts. The website banned public support of Trump in October.

“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,” the site administrators wrote.

Read more:

This researcher studied 400,000 knitters and discovered what turns a hobby into a business

LGBT creators wonder whether YouTube really supports them, or just pretends to, during Pride Month