How do you keep bigots off social media?

FACEBOOK: Wow, it's tough but we're trying! ❤️👍
TWITTER: What is "bigotry", really?
RAVELRY: Our grandmothers wrote code into scarves that sunk Nazi submarines. We carry razor sharp needles everywhere and we will fuck. you. up.

@bentev28, 30 June, 2019

In the midst of a withering year or two of big platforms abdicating (or outright denying) their civic responsibilities, fiber arts website/community Ravelry announced a new content policy that bans support for President Donald Trump on its platform.

New Policy: Do Not Post In Support of Trump or his Administration

Sunday, June 23rd 2019

We are banning support of Donald Trump and his administration on Ravelry.

This includes support in the form of forum posts, projects, patterns, profiles, and all other content. Note that your project data will never be deleted. We will never delete your Ravelry project data for any reason and if a project needs to be removed from the site, we will make sure that you have access to your data. Even if you are permanently banned from Ravelry, you will still be able to access any patterns that you purchased. Also, we will make sure that you receive a copy of your data.

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.

The Community Guidelines have been updated with the following language: “Note that support of President Trump, his administration, or individual policies that harm marginalized groups, all constitute hate speech.”

“Everyone uses Ravelry”: why a popular knitting website’s anti-Trump stance is so significant by By Aja Romano (@ajaromano) is an excellent, long, detailed article in Vox about the new Ravelry policy.

I was curious about the reference to grandmothers who “wrote code into scarves that sunk Nazi submarines” in @bentev28’s tweet. Vox/Romano linked to this fascinating Atlas Obscura article by Natalie Zarrelli, 1 June 2017, The Wartime Spies Who Used Knitting as an Espionage Tool.

DURING WORLD WAR I, A grandmother in Belgium knitted at her window, watching the passing trains. As one train chugged by, she made a bumpy stitch in the fabric with her two needles. Another passed, and she dropped a stitch from the fabric, making an intentional hole. Later, she would risk her life by handing the fabric to a soldier—a fellow spy in the Belgian resistance, working to defeat the occupying German force.

Also in the Vox article I learned that the gaming site RPG.net banned Trump support in October 2018.

The following policy announcement is the result of over a year of serious debate by the moderation team. The decision is as close to unanimous as we ever get. It will not be the subject of further debate. We have fully considered the downsides and ultimately decided we have to stay true to our values. We will not pretend that evil isn’t evil, or that it becomes a legitimate difference of political opinion if you put a suit and tie on it.

We are banning support of Donald Trump or his administration on the RPGnet forums. 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. We can be welcoming to (for example) persons of every ethnicity who want to talk about games, or we can allow support for open white supremacy. Not both. Below will be an outline of the policy and a very incomplete set of citations.

We have a community here that we’ve built carefully over time, and support for elected hate groups aren’t welcome here. We can't save the world, but we can protect and care for the small patch that is this board.