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Knitting website bans support for Trump

Women knittingImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

The popular knitting website Ravelry is banning users from expressing support for the US President Donald Trump and his administration on its platform.
On Sunday night, a tweet, which has now been shared almost 10,000 times and attracted 13,000 comments, 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.”

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In a statement on its website, Ravelry said supporters of the president could still use the site but could not express their support in its forum or knitting patterns.

A pro Donald Trump knitting pattern which has now been taken down from the siteImage copyrightDEPLORABLEKNITTERImage captionThis Trump 2020 knitting pattern has been removed from the site

“We are not endorsing Democrats nor banning Republicans,” it said.
“We are definitely not banning conservative politics.
“Hate groups and intolerance are different from political position.”
Ravelry said its policy was largely based on one adopted in October 2018 by the role-playing game website RPG.Net
At the time, RPG said the Trump administration was so incompatible with its values “that formal political neutrality is not tenable”.

Donald Trump is yet to commentImage copyrightSAUL LOEBImage captionDonald Trump is yet to comment

Since Ravelry’s ban, it has been the subject of more than 30,000 tweets.
Joyce Alene tweeted she was “proud” to be a Ravelry member and it was the “same folks who knit hats for the women’s march taking the lead on calling out hate”, alluding to the Pussyhat project, where thousands of women donned pink woolly hats to protest against the president.

A woman wearing a Pussy Hat during the 2018 Womens March in New York City.Image copyrightGETTY IMAGESImage captionA woman wearing a pussyhat during the 2018 Women’s March in New York City

But fellow Ravelry user Shelly Caldwell tweeted: “I will be cancelling my account #Maga [make America great again].”
Though not a Ravelry user, Keith Barrett tweeted: “You cannot claim to be inclusive while banning or censoring half the country for supporting its president.”
But lawyer Tiffany Li said as a private company, Ravelry was under no obligation to allow all viewpoints on its platform.
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