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Goodbye Pinterest, and Thank You for the Cake

When Pinterest started it had something exciting. Fully focusing on pictures gave it an easily accessible and visually attractive appearance. The first thing you saw were people collecting pictures of stuff related to (wedding) festivities, travelling, or food porn. Did I say porn? Right, there was food porn, but under no circumsctances there was real porn. And that was ok, there are other places to go to find porn (you know where). But Pinterest grew tremendously, and of course people are interested in more than wedding cakes and nail polish. So the first boards appeared focusing on fashion models, and not all of them were fully dressed. And also porn appeared on stage. As said, posting porn on Pinterest is a stupid idea, and there is even a Pinterest clone available which is only doing porn. There you go!

So what could Pinterest do? One answer could be to simply not care. You decide yourself what you want to see. If there is a board with pictures you do not like, do not follow it. But you may want to not even have these pictures show up at all. There is an established answer for that, too. Many companies have been confronted with this porn issue, like for instance Google search. And their answer is called “Safe Search”, i.e., filtering out pictures people do not want to see. But Pinterest wanted to stay clean and respectable, so they started the David vs. Goliath fight. After having established an Acceptable Use Policy they remove picture by picture they consider violating this policy.

This could be all fine. I never posted porn there, so why should I care? But also my posts fell victim to the Pinterest prudery cleanup. Why? Because I was posting to boards dealing with photography and tattoos. And Pinterest is hypersensitive with the interpretation of their policy. For instance they removed this picture. If you consider this sexually explicit or pornographic, then you are having a serious problem with the human nature.

JazzyBCol6

I tried to remove all pictures showing parts of naked breasts or derrière, but some I missed (in my inked board there were over 600 pictures I had to check). So Pinterest continued to delete a few, and at the end they even threatened me with deleting the whole board. That was the point were I decided to quit. Well, you cannot really quit, you can only deactivate your account, with the option to reactivate it later.

Pinterest is making a very clear statement here. They do not want any pictures containing even the slightest touch of nudity. And that makes it of no interest for many people dealing with topics like photography or tattoos. That is fine, there are better places for theses topics, anyway. For photography all established sites have very well working means to deal with nudity. And for collecting and sharing the work of others, like tattoos, still the best place to be is tumblr. I hope Yahoo wont make the same mistakes as Pinterest did after having bought tumblr. For now, tumblr is a quite open and unrestricted system.

I wonder where Pinterest may end up. It is still very valuable for many people, even though most people I know started enthusiastically, but lost interest sooner or later. For many topics there are simply better places and networks to go.

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