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March 27, 2012

Pinterest Listens to Users and Revises Terms and Conditions

Pinterest can be a great way to increase the visibility of your brand or connect with other like-minded individuals in your industry (although it doesn’t help eliminate distractions for writers because it is so incredibly addicting, but I digress). For this reason, the social network has over 10.4 million registered uses, 9 million monthly Facebook connected users, and 2 million daily Facebook users according to Inside Network’s AppData tracking service. However, even with all of these users, the site was in serious jeopardy just a few short days ago.

Users were starting to realize that the Pinterest terms and conditions simply were not safe. Since most people do not read the terms and conditions, this problem went unnoticed by many for quite some time. Nevertheless, the truth came out quick to a large number of people; forcing Pinterest to make a change. Below are some of the terms and conditions that caused the uproar:

  • When you pin something, you agree that you own whatever it is you pin or have permission from the original owner.
  • Pinterest is allowed to sell anything you pin.
  • If any legal fees need to be paid or dealt with, you must pay the legal fees for Pinterest.
  • Any risk you may be taking by using the site (copyright issues, ownership disagreements, etc.) is entirely your responsibility.

The word was spread quickly by this graphic written by Jon Contino. This caused many to remove photographs or stop using the site out of fear that something would go wrong and they would be entirely responsible for all fees and blame. Fortunately, Pinterest listened.

The Latest Pinterest Terms and Conditions Changes

This past weekend the Pinterest team sent an email message out to all users to help solve the situation. Pinterest decided that they would be changing their terms and conditions and apologized for any inconvenience the terms may have caused. The terms will not be split into three sections: Terms of Service, Acceptable Use Policy, and Privacy Policy

Splitting the terms up into three sections should help make the terms easier to understand for all users. However most importantly, the site is going to change some of the “rules” that had so many users up in arms. Below are some of the changes discussed in the email:

  • Pinterest will not be selling any content published on the site.
  • Pins that explicitly encourage self-harm or self-abuse will not be tolerated (such as unhealthy diets or bullying).
  • There will not be simpler tools for anyone to report any copyright or trademark issues. Every pin will also have the option of a “Report Pin” button to help make this easier.
  • New features such as a Pinterest API will be added. This will allow developers and third party services top get involved in the site.

All of these changes will be set into motion on April 6, 2012. Although we still haven’t seen any changes about legal fees or responsibility of the images on the site, this is certainly a set in the right direction.

Will this change the way you use Pinterest?

Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to payroll processing. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including merchant services to small businesses and entrepreneurs for Resource Nation.

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