Let’s Pin Down the Rules for Publishers and Platforms

by

Monday, June 17, 2019


Pinterest, the popular organization website, is the latest technology company to flex their power and ban a conservative organization, pro-life company, Live Action.

Live Action’s mission is to show the lies used to shield Planned Parenthood and similar organizations. In a shocking video, a whistleblower exposed Pinterest for adding Live Action to a permanently banned list. The whistleblower stated, “You are looking at pins with domains that are blocked. Any domain that is on the porn block list you can’t make a pin like that, and I happened to find this, because of a Slack thread talking about pro-life content and someone happened to notice that Live Action was blocked. I was pretty surprised and I went to our porn block list and sure enough Live Action was on the list.” When asked why Pinterest blocked Live Action the whistleblower said, “I think it’s because Live Action is effective and they are seeing increasing pressure in the abortion debate.”  

Megan McClellen originally added Pinterest to the porn list. The definition of porn is “the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement.” Live Action doesn’t meet any part of this definition by any stretch of the mind. The whistleblower even admitted, “This is obviously not porn and I find this very concerning that it was added to a porn list which seems like an effort to hide the fact that Live Action is being blocked. Why not just add it to the sensitive content list or hate speech if you really think it’s hate speech? But you are adding it to the porn list to hide what it is.”

When Live Action reached out to Pinterest they cited their policy on misinformation, “Your account was permanently suspended because it’s contents went against our policies on misinformation on Pinterest. That includes medical misinformation and conspiracies that turn individuals and facilities into targets for harassment or violence.”

With all big tech companies, the rules are constantly changing and evolving to rid their sites of people and ideas they don’t like. This is seen with Stephen Crowder and Youtube, Alex Jones and Twitter, and with Louis Farrakhan and Facebook.  In an interview, Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann was asked if Pinterest was a social media company, to which he responded by saying that Pinterest is a “catalog of ideas.” “I think that’s a very different thing than a social network.”

If they are truly a catalog of ideas, they should allow ideas they don’t agree with and let users choose for themselves what to pin. Unless Pinterest wants to split their users and base they need to decide; are they a platform or a publisher? They will further fracture their base if they play games by censoring speech and making fraudulent claims.

If Pinterest wants to be a publisher, they need to say that. If they come out and say these are the rules and they are clearly spelled out, then fine. Pinterest has the right to censor who and what is put on their site, but, if they want to be a “catalogue of ideas,” they need to stop unfairly censoring ideas they do not like.

Taylor Hunt is a recent homeschool graduate and three-time recipient of the "American Citizenship Award." If she is not reading, she is probably drinking coffee, serving at church or playing board games with the family.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.


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About Taylor Hunt

Modesto Junior College

Taylor Hunt is a recent homeschool graduate and three-time recipient of the "American Citizenship Award." If she is not reading, she is probably drinking coffee, serving at church or playing board games with the family.

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