On Sunday, Ravelry put out a statement about Pro-Trump speech on their platform:
“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.” This. This right here is what so many people have been trying to tell Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. It’s what we keep telling the conservative people in our lives who keep telling us “I might have voted for him, but I’m not racist/sexist/xenophobic/hateful.” Then why are you okay with it? Tolerance of intolerance is intolerance.
Of course, I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t getting a kick out of Ravelry putting their foot down before the media giants. The fear of user backlash is a little absurd, the giants have full teams to manage that and hundreds of millions of users that support their platforms. Ravelry has a handful of staff and a little over 8 million users. They may stand to lose a lot more, and I love that they don’t care.
Let the pro-Trump users and designers leave, because we know it will still continue operating like it did before. It’s not going to implode, it’s not going to shut down. Let Ravelry be an example that media channels do not have to (and should not) tolerate hate speech on their channels.
And since apparently some of us need to go back to school, the first amendment protects us from the government trying to silence our speech. Private groups don’t have to follow those same rules. Even if they did, the amendment still has limitations on what we can say and where. Let’s use that old metaphor of “your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.” The hateful rhetoric coming out of these groups is disparaging to BIPOC, women, the LGBTQ+ community, and people of different nationalities and religions. These groups have a right to exist without that persecution.
Now, those of us with privilege need to step up and defend our fellow Ravelers that don’t. This story trended nationally on Twitter, every major news source has had their own story about it by this point. While that’s great, it’s opening up the floodgates of trolls who otherwise wouldn’t care about a yarn craft social media platform, and who are they going to go after first? We need to utilize what we have, report hate speech, and step up to take the heat off those who can’t take it anymore.
Again, Ravelry is going to be fine. When it is, it will be an example to the larger platforms that you can, in fact, show these conservative trolls to the door. It’s not only possible, it’s the right thing to do.
Enjoy these amazing, sassy tweets while you keep up the good fight: