Pinterest Makes Moves to Be the Least Hellacious Hellhole Online

Pinterest Makes Moves to Be the Least Hellacious Hellhole Online
Graphic: Pinterest

You might not think of Pinterest as being as creator-driven as some of its contemporaries, but that’s an image the company clearly wants to change. This week, the company rolled out a buffet of new creator-focused features in the moderation space, with a focus on playing nice.

The big-ticket item is a new set of policies catered towards creators that the company fittingly dubs its “Creator Code.” These guidelines, per the company, are meant to promote content that’s “inclusive and compassionate,” while keeping out content that doesn’t vibe with the overall Pinterest ethos. Believe it or not, Pinterest has historically had a bit of an issue with accidentally harbouring hateful content — from anti-vax memes to photos of child abuse.

“We’ve been building Pinterest for 11 years, and ever since our users routinely tell us that Pinterest is the ‘last positive corner of the internet’,” Pinterest Co-founder Evan Sharpe said in a statement. “In that time, we’ve also learned that you need to design positivity into online platforms as deliberately as much as you design negativity out.”

For now, the only creators that are being asked to oblige by the new Creator Code are those with access to Story Pins — an feature that allows creators to assemble pictures, pages, and videos on their Pinterest page in a unique, scrapbook-esque way. Right now, there’s a limit on the number of pages with access to these Pins, and the names getting that access is largely limited to major creators on the platform.

As for what the Code actually entails, it’s pretty simple: be kind, be factual, and “do no harm.”

On top of this, the company’s offering new tools to keep the comments section under their content as friendly as possible. Creators can now remove content, or feature particularly “positive” contributions, for example. There are also going to be “Positivity Reminders” — similar to what YouTube rolled out a few months back — reminding commenters to “reconsider potentially offensive comments” before they post.

Pinterest is also offering a pretty big incentive to play nice on their platform: a Creator Fund that, per TechCrunch, is doling out $US500,000 ($653,450) to elevate creators throughout the U.S. — particularly those from “underrepresented communities.” Per the company, those funds don’t only go toward creating their content, but also let them run ads on the platform and get “creative strategy consulting” from the pros at Pinterest itself.