Boston-based crafting community Rivalry announced Sunday it would no longer tolerate white supremacy on its website and forums. Explaining its new policy, Rivalry administrators said they would ban forum posts, projects, patterns and profiles that "constitute support for President Trump or his administration.
In a subsequent official statement, Rivalry clarified it did not favor the Democratic Party. It pointed out that all the Republicans and Trump voters are welcome to continue using the site as soon as they do not talk about Trump here.
As Rivalry emphasized, it aims to be an inclusive place of all users, and as such, it can no longer allow support for open white supremacy. The hate groups and intolerance are different from other types of political preferences, Rivalry concluded.
President Trump has a proven track record of publicly supporting white supremacy. When he announced his project to build a wall at the U.S-Mexican border, Trump said it aimed to keep out Mexican' rapists.'
In addition to that, when commenting on the neo-Nazis march in Charlottesville, Virginia in the summer of 2017, Trump said there were 'fine people' on both sides of the conflict.
In January 2018, Trump reportedly referred to the immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and some African nations asking why all these people from 'shithole countries' came to the U.S.
Rivalry says it has over 8.5 million registered users interested in knitting, crocheting, and other textile projects. It said it could remove users who do not comply with the new policy but highlighted they would not lose their data.
Those of them who purchased patterns from the site would still be able to access them, the Rivalry team explained. In addition to that, the administrators confirmed they would not ban people for past support.
Rivalry did not say what prompted the policy shift. It briefly mentioned it was inspired by a similar policy at the gaming site RPG.net which enacted a Trump support ban in October 2018.
Not surprisingly, the ban led to an intense reaction within the knitting community and beyond. Some users were happy with it, saying that it would be great if politics stay out of the forums. Other severely opposed it accusing Rivalry of restricting their rights of free speech. Some of them even threatened to close their accounts.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with the new Rivalry policy to ban support for President Trump on its platforms?