An Open Letter to The Administrators at Pinterest

Subject: An Open Letter to The Administrators at Pinterest
From: The Recently Unpinned
Date: 17 Jun 2015

Dear Pinterest

Yesterday, I came home to an email from you saying that you had suspended my account due to "repeated" violations of your policies. And by repeated I mean two.

The fatal pin in question would not have raised an eyebrow had it appeared in the pages of a high fashion magazine – although it might be said that the lady in question had a body shape that would never be seen in the pages of such a publication. My original transgression was likewise bordering on the art house nude. I can only assume that there was nothing else you objected to on my boards, since these were the only pins you ever warned me about.

Yet someone, somewhere, must have reported them, although you did at least say that it wasn't me that had been reported but that they had been removed from another board from which I'd just happened to "repin".

Still, I guess that what makes me most annoyed. To UPLOAD these "outrageous" images is one thing but all I did was to repin them from someone else. Indeed, looking at the links to the images you supplied I could not even remember doing it so it must have been a while ago. It's clearly not enough to believe that a pin is "safe" because you found it on Pinterest.

And the fact that both of the pins mentioned above were on "secret" boards – not visible to anyone except me – makes my "punishment" even harder to bear.

I can understand that such a "found" pin might leave to it being deleted by you, but deleting the whole account is a step too far.

I had almost 11,000 pins on my boards, and my follower/followed numbers were in high-three figures. The vast majority of these pins were completely anodyne and SFW (safe for work) and I referred to them on a daily basis in my professional and private life.

But I suppose what really sticks in my craw is the fact that other pins keep appearing on Pinterest despite the fact that they depict cruelty, aggression, hate speech, and even child sexual abuse. One such image I was unfortunate enough to see – and which I immediately reported – I have since spotted on various boards almost a dozen times more in the intervening six weeks. It does seem a very patchy response as regards "violation" of policies, let alone criminal law.

I would suggest that if a Pinner were to UPLOAD an image which breached Ts&Cs that might count as grounds for termination of their service (perhaps first deleting the board on which it appeared as a first warning) and certainly to delete every repin.

But how can deleting a whole account for twice repinning something in good faith be fair or reasonable?

So Pinterest, I'm starting all over again, waiting for the day when something I had no grounds for thinking was offensive once more causes you to throw your toys out of the pram.

Happy pinning