Thursday, 30 May 2013

Pinterest, like many other social sites, has had to deal with an unavoidable amount of nudity, porn, and the battle between the two. Is a bare breast considered pornographic? I don’t know, ask Facebook. How much porn is too much porn, and how hard should you make it for the average user to stumble upon it? I don’t know, ask Vine. If porn is what the users want, should the company get it the way? I don’t know – Yahoo seems to think they shouldn’t.

Pinterest has explicitly banned sexual content, nudity, and even partial nudity. It’s right there in the Acceptable Use Policy. “You agree not to post User Content that is sexually explicit or contains nudity, partial nudity or pornography.” If you search a term like “sex” or “nude” on Pinterest, you’re greeted with this message:

Reminder: Pinterest does not allow nudity. Pinning or repinning photographs displaying breasts, buttocks or genitalia may result in the termination of your Pinterest account.

Though that sounds pretty straightforward, well, it’s not. Sure, Pinterest says that they do not allow nudity or pornography. Yet there’s plenty of porn and more “tasteful” nudity on Pinterest. See? See? (NSFW, obviously).

Now, it looks like Pinterest is taking a proactive step (at the behest of users) to make sure that the nudity that exists on the site is an acceptable type of nudity – artistic nudity.

“Pinterest is about expressing your passions and people are passionate about art and that may include nudes,” Pinterest told the Financial Times. “So we’re going to try to accommodate that.”

Gizmodo received another quote from Pinterest spokesman Barry Schnitt.

“Pinners have asked us for a policy on nudity that makes a distinction between works of art and things like pornography. A change like that poses a lot of questions. We’re working our way through those questions but we don’t have any additional details to offer just yet.”

It sounds like Pinterest wants to avoid the mess that Facebook’s gotten in as of late. Mainly, the banning of not only art featuring exposed breasts, breastfeeding photos, and cartoon boobs, but even photos that resemble breasts but turn out to be completely innocuous.

Pinterest has to face it: Their UI is great for art and photos. And if the people want tasteful nudes, well, the people should get tasteful nudes. Lest they run off to a place where it won’t be persecuted. Not that Pinterest has done a great job of enforcing their policy up until this point anyway. Moving forward, Pinterest is probably going to have a problem making that distinction between artistic nudity and porny nudity. It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out.


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