Pinterest Listens to Users, Changes Terms of Service

In rolling out an update to its terms of service, acceptable use policy and privacy policy on March 23, Pinterest responded to several concerns and criticisms directed against it from its own community, and in doing so demonstrated that it is listening to its biggest advocates.

One of the biggest issues Pinterest users had with the growing social network was that Pinterest had the right, via its original terms, to sell users’ content on the site. This will no longer be an issue. “Our original terms stated that by posting content to Pinterest you grant Pinterest the right for us to sell your content. Selling content was never our intention and we removed this from our updated terms,” said Pinterest founder Ben Silbermann in a blog post.

Pinterest also responded to concerns about users pinning content that encouraged self-harm or self-abuse. Simply put, Pinterest retooled its acceptable use policy to no longer allow such content to appear on the social network.

And finally, Pinterest addressed the controversy surrounding the repinning of copyrighted material. In the blog post, Silbermann said that Pinterest has “released simpler tools for anyone to report alleged copyright or trademark infringements.” The blog post did not make it clear as to exactly how the tools will reduce the use of copyrighted materials—the current process involves filling out a form that identifies the illegal content, and for the user to fill out his or her contact information, according to the tech Web site The Verge.

In its updated terms of service, Pinterest aims to put more of the responsibility on the user. “Pinterest values and respects the rights of third-party creators and content owners, and expects you to do the same. You therefore agree that any user content that you post to the service does not and will not violate any law or infringe the rights of any third party,” the new terms read.

This is unlikely to be the final word—the issue of copyrighted material appearing on Pinterest is most likely one that is not going to be quelled anytime soon.

To learn more about how to incorporate Pinterest into your communications efforts, attend PR News' March 27 webinar Pinterest Power: How to Broadcast Your Brand's Story Visually Webinar.

Follow Sahil Patel: @sizpatel