My response to Ravelry's new policy

My response to Ravelry's new policy



hi everyone its Stephanie here with a spinning related video in this video I'm going to be addressing rather revelries recent announcement that they are banning all support of President Trump on their website and I'm going to tell you what my reaction to this is when I first read this policy I was troubled by it not because I am a big Trump supporter in fact I didn't vote for him and I for the most part don't support him but I'm troubled because any time you ban a certain group of people from speaking you're going down a slippery slope I teach sometimes English and creative writing at my local university and I always open my classes by saying the same thing what is the first thing that dictators do when they come to power and that is they burn books they ban speech I realize that Ravelry is a privately owned website it is their right to to have whatever speech on their site that they want but I really really reject the idea that vilifying an entire group of people almost half of our nation is a solution to anything out of one side of their mouth they're saying that they are tolerant and inclusive but on the other side of their mouth they are preaching they are they are blanket blanketing an entire group of people as white supremacists I for one know several people who support Trump who voted for him and who are not white supremists at all and I really dislike this idea of tarring and feathering every single person in a group with the same brush we wouldn't do this with any other group I'm female does that mean I speak for all women no if I was to go off and do some crazy thing would that mean that every woman thinks the way that I think no not at all are there white supremists the supremacists that support Trump yeah I'm sure there are does calling every single person who supports Trump a white supremacist and banning any type of support for the president even something as innocuous as saying please pray for our president is that tolerant I don't think so you see tolerance isn't measured by the way you treat people who are on your side or people who agree with you tolerance is measured by how you treat people who disagree with you that's the entire reason for the First Amendment our entire nation is built and held up under this First Amendment right to free speech and again this is not a public arena we are not talking about you know having public discourse on a public space we're talking about top speech on a private website on a private domain but there's a problem here because Ravelry has a monopoly basically on the knitting and the fiber community everybody has to go to Ravelry everything is kind of funneled through them so you can they have the power to silence a group if they want to silence that group and so I think it's my belief that when you have that much power sorry when the dog is is starting again you guys know it dogs and kids here but it's my belief that when you have come here Whitman when you have that much power it's it's your job to use it responsibly it's your job to think about the words that you choose and maybe I'm more sensitive to this because I'm a writer and because I've studied language and I know the impact and the power that language has but unabashedly calling a whole group of people our brothers and sisters our friends our family calling them white supremacists to me that's that's a horrible thing to accuse somebody of just because they support a certain politician in their policies so why am I talking about this on my channel well because if you've been following me you know I just recently before all this drama started I just started a small group on Ravelry so that we could talk about our own fibery experiences and all of that well I after talking with some of you who reached out to me and expressed expressed your concern about Ravelry policy I was really thinking long and hard about this in the beginning I was just going to stick with Ravelry stay on there and just kind of ignore what's going on but the more and more I thought about it the more I thought I can't be silent about this because this type of thing it's becoming more and more acceptable to silence certain groups of people and the people who have the power now maybe not political power but maybe in this case like we're talking about the power of a monopoly in a certain corner or a certain area of the Internet of the world Ravelry holds out all the power here so when they silence a group it has a big effect but the more I thought about that and the more I thought about it in relation to the amount of power that Ravelry holds in our section of the crafting world the more I thought I can't go along with this so what I'm going to be doing and what I'm going to be asking you to do is I'm going to be closing our group on Ravelry because I really can't support what they're doing I could have supported them if they had banned all politics if they had banned all political discourse and if they had left out some of the language that they used I would still be on Ravelry I would have no problem with that at all no problem with banning political speech on both sides what I have a problem with is targeting a specific group and banning only that group because in their statement they say that they are not banning Republicans they're not banning conservatives but then how welcome are conservatives or Republicans going to feel how how encouraged to speak up about anything are they going to feel honestly the people I've talked to my friends who are impacted by this policy on Ravelry they're mainly hurt that other people view them this way they're mainly just really deeply hurt that this is this is how people on the Left see them and I just think that's very sad because we can easily say okay not all Muslims are terrorists we know that just because of the actions of a few doesn't mean the entire group are a bunch of terrorists that's not true so why can't we make that same distinction here so anyway I'm going to be closing my Ravelry group and I'm going to be opening up a group on Facebook that's what I'm going to be working on this weekend it's something I've been thinking about for a while and I think that that will give us more of a forum to just enjoy fiber arts you know I don't care who you voted for I don't care who you support politically as long as you can come in and be kind to one another you're welcome the only thing I won't tolerate is unkindness to each other but other than that everybody is welcome if you're on the Left you're welcome if you're on the right you're welcome if you're in the middle you're welcome if you're like me and you ping-pong all over the place you're welcome if you don't have any political aspirations at all or interest at all you're welcome just be kind to one another and I don't understand why we can't do that on a larger scale why we can't just be kind to each other on a larger scale our country has taken a really ugly turn and we're vilifying each other when if I can just pause here for a moment and and go off on a tangent although I guess it's not quite a tangent because we are talking politics here but can I can I let you all in on a little secret my husband is in politics he has worked very closely with the highest levels of government in the state of Kentucky and can I tell you that politicians are really really happy when we the people are treating each other this way because that means we're too busy fighting with each other to really keep an eye on what they're doing okay so that gives them the ability to stay in power on each side I'm not saying this is a Republican issue or a democratic issue what I'm saying this this is a people in power issue because their main goal is to get in power and stay in power and when we allow ourselves to be distracted by these petty little arguments then they win we're not doing our job as we the people we are not watching what they're doing and that's why our situation has gotten this bad in our country I believe that's my personal soapbox now that's all I'm going to say about politics so what I'd like for our site is I'd like for us to build it together if you have patterns you are welcome to put them on on the Facebook group that we have as long as everybody can we can make sure that the rights to those patterns stay with that individual because that's something I'm very passionate about again as a writer I'm very much aware of copyright infringement but anyway we'll figure all of this out as we go along so this weekend I'm going to work on the Facebook group I will give you another update about it on Monday I will be shutting down our Ravelry group if Ravelry chooses to revisit this issue and maybe just ban all political speech I'll jump right back on Ravelry but for right now I just can't I can't support them so I hope that this doesn't do anything to fracture our relationship here because I love you guys and I can't tell you how much each and every one of you mean to me the support that you've given me the times you've reached out and sent me a note it might have been just the day that I really just needed a little pick-me-up and your notes have done that for me so I really hope that me sharing my concerns hasn't damaged anything between us but I just have to follow my heart in this so until Monday I'm Stephanie nipper bye bye be kind to each other please

35 thoughts on “My response to Ravelry's new policy

  1. Since so many folks have a problem with FB I wonder if you could just have your group right here on YouTube?

  2. Thanks for the well thought-out analysis. There are a lot of people leaving. You are not the only one and many of them are just neutral people who think this is wrong. Ravelry was a monopoly and we need to leave. It was old technology that has passed its time. There are some new ones being made for all people. This new policy was very divisive but it was a really a blessing to end this giant . Be patient and God bless you.

  3. It all begs the question why is there any political discourse on a crafting site? Ravelry is foolish, I will bet this really hurt the financially. I do not think they understood their demographics before doing this.

  4. Thank you for your measured and honest video. I recently started crocheting and so far I've made two slouchy hats (no pu**y hats). I'm a Trump supporting grandma and I am greatly offended that Ravelry thinks our President is a white supremist. I consider myself to be quite informed and I would never vote for someone like that. People need to get real information and stop believing CNN and MSNBC.
    On a lighter note, you seem like a very nice person and I would love to delve deeper into crochet after I finish painting my grand daughter's room and putting in her new floor.

  5. Thank you so much for your bravery and honesty. I won't be on Ravelry either unless I need to buy a pattern – that is it!

  6. Steph, your right they ban free speech first. Then they take the Inteligencia  out to the woods and have them dig a long deep ditch.

  7. I agree with just about everything you said except…hurt? I will never ever let a liberal hurt me. They are nuts. I think they are hilarious. Prancing around in pussy hats thinking they are changing policy. Hurt? Never.

  8. Ravelry believes PTrump is a WS and anyone who voted for him is supporting WS, according to Ravelry. I dont understand how he got the tag-WS. The border wall? The most decisive and hateful rhetoric comes from the other side, at least in my world.

  9. I would have no problem with Ravelry's policy if they had rules against political or racist statements as inappropriate for a knitting site. I have indeed seen the most hateful, vile, vulgar discourse and obscene patterns on Ravelry–100% of it coming from the Left not the Trump supporters.

  10. Hi there! I am so glad to hear you say that even though you are not a Trump supporter, you are against Ravelry's new policy. It warms my heart to know that there are still reasonable people out there that understand that we can still get along even with our opposing views.

    At 3:55 you stated "Ravelry is a monopoly. Everyone has to go to Ravelry." Well, I'm happy to say that's no longer true. There is a new site started, ourunraveled.com. It's still in development, right now we aren't more than a bunch of forums, where people can share ideas, pictures and patterns… but the founders are intending for this to be a TRULY all inclusive site to compete with Ravelry as a fiber arts site (from what I understand).

    As a Rav-ugee that has just joined this site, I encourage anyone that is looking for an alternative, tolerant of all website for knitting, crocheting, and well, crafting in general… come check it out and join us!

  11. The owners of Ravelry are not vilifying anybody. They are reacting to the cases where some subscribers are using Ravelry as a forum for political propaganda. Such people have no respect for Ravelry as a place where people should be able to discuss their craft without being subjected to political tirades from either the Right or the Left. I congratulate Ravelry on having the courage to refuse to allow their site to be hijacked by people who use the language of hate and intimidation.

  12. I quit ravelry six months after I started using that channel. Don't use any type of social media either. The points you talked about are right on target. Thanks for your input. All I want is to talk crochet, knitting, and yarn.

  13. Free speech has always had limits – you cannot yell fir in a crowded theatre. Inciting hate based on race, gender, etc. Is punishable under the law. While you are hankering on about Trump people having the right to not be called white supremicists…is simplistic.

    Right now we have thousands of children hel in immigration centres in deplorable conditions. Have you spoken out about that? I bet not.

    Sadly, non Americans are watching America collapse – your ideals have proven easily trashed. When you don’t mind white supremacy because that wouldn’t be kind.

    Kentucky, by the way, has one of the lowest level of education in the country. I must say your blab, shallow and vacuous as it may be, reflects how the serios issues are being simplified.

    Grow up girls.

  14. Privately owned or not set aside, as a platform they enjoy a certain immunity. Since they're editing what's said on their platform, they've become a publisher. That's a whole different story.
    Facebook? No thank you. My data and I are not a commodity that they can sell to the highest bidder!

  15. I heard about it Tuesday, and made the decision to leave, too. Why didn't they just say, no political anything, rather than making it one-sided? From what they wrote, it looks like they are about to become ultra liberal – talking about what they will do and say beginning next week. It looks like they will use Ravelry as a launch pad for Trump bashing during the upcoming election, so best we leave now. It sure seems strange that we cannot just play with yarn and leave the politics outside the groups. Must we eat and breathe nasty politics from now on, in everything? Anyway, I DON'T need Ravelry. In the last few days, I have begun looking at patterns/materials from designers who have their items on Etsy. So, I think we will all be OK until someone sets up something for all of us "yarn-ies" out here who just want to relax and enjoy our yarn – without strife!

  16. Thank you so much for what you said. I am a Trump supporter and have been deeply troubled and hurt by hearing that I am now a white supremacist according to Ravelry, and just because they said so. I deleted my account without looking back, but like you I would go back if they just banned all political bad mouthing on their site. I agree with you that everyone should be welcome and that everyone should just be kind to each other.

  17. First of all, Trump supporters do not make up almost half of our nation. They make up almost half of the amount of eligible voters who actually voted in the 2016 election. There are 320 million people in America; 26 million were eligible to vote; 13 million voted, 6.5 million for Hillary and 6.2 million for Trump (0.3 million for anyone else). Please keep these facts straight. The portion of the nation that supports Trump is very, very tiny.

    Second of all, while I agree that it is bad to vilify groups in general for being different from oneself, this blanket policy does not extend to white supremacy. Nor does the 1st Amendment cover hate speech. White supremacy, aka Naziism, is the one thing we should ALL vilify, and loudly. That is what the Ravelry statement is about: banning support for White Supremacy. If Trump truly does not align with white supremacy, then he seriously needs to change his rhetoric, because his past actions and statements make it very difficult to believe that he does not support it.

    So, if people want to leave Ravelry because they vilify the mindset that annihilated six million Jews–ironically, the same number of people who voted for Trump–then that's their call, but it speaks volumes as to what they themselves might be aligned with. If they are not, then serious soul-searching is required.

    #istandwithravelry #idonotsupportwhitesupremacy

  18. Thank you for this video. I keep saying the exact same thing. They have been irresponsible in their actions. They took advantage of their position and their power. They could have approached this differently and had a stronger impact and made a real difference. They do have a monopoly. This ban is the definition of unkind.

  19. I will no longer be purchasing Raverly products. I also called my little sister who runs a knitting group Its small about 10 women. They are all quitting Raverly.

  20. The photo that accompanied their new policy was two Ralvery owners wearing knitted pink pu**y hats. That seems pretty much like a political statement to me . I closed my Ralvery account.

  21. Very well said, thank you. What I'm going to miss about Rav is that when I get a new commercial yarn & need inspiration….what it looks like worked up etc. I run to Rav. I don't think the yarn companies do enough of that….I like to see all options of what one can do with certain yarns. Maybe a new venue for that will come along. I just now came across you & have 'sub'd' & 'liked' 😀

  22. Thank you. You must have read my mind. Just because I am white doesn't make me a white supremacist. Every other race seems to get a pass, but yet when it comes to white people, we are apparently all racist and white supremacists.

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