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Pinterest to start blocking unwanted pins

Stephan Lourens
Born 20 years too early. Curses sometimes. Thinks too much. Believes plug-and-play is the best invention ever. If asked what he wants for his birthday he will... More

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Pinterest, the online content sharing service that allows members to “pin” images, videos and other objects, will be enlisting users’ help to block or report unwanted or tasteless content that exists on its virtual pin-board. This is in an effort to reduce hateful, unwanted or violent and “naughty” pins, as recently described on its blog.

A “report user” feature will enable a Pinterest user to alert the site’s vast community about an issue that is against the fast growing picture library’s guidelines, or even if the subject or person involved is offensive to the user personally. This comes after several requests by users for more added features.

Dannie Chu, software engineer at Pinterest, said that users are able to click on a small flag icon on their profiles that will enable them to block others. Similar to a function seen on Facebook and other social media platforms, it will prevent the “blocker” and “blocked” from seeing each other’s boards or any other activity. At the same time, the site’s community team is alerted to a potential issue and a user’s account could be reviewed.

As the content on Pinterest is user-generated, it is impossible with the amount of users to control what is pinned. With social media becoming larger every day, almost every hour actually, the collective efforts of a community is needed for this type of content policing. As of yet, there are no perfect solution for keeping social media clean and most agree there probably will never be.

But what comes to mind immediately is that this kind of policing, by way of the general social media public, can be interpreted in various ways, depending on people’s own version of right and wrong. So in reality it will work both ways will it not? What will the difference be in reporting nudity pins of an artistic photographer, or if an atheist reports someone’s constant religious pins that he or she might find offensive?