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Enforcement

At Pinterest, our mission is to bring everyone the inspiration to create a life they love, and it’s our guiding light in drafting and enforcing our policies.

On this page, you can read about how we put our policies into practice, including any restrictions we may apply to your content or your use of Pinterest. We also publish regular transparency reports that provide more detail about moderation trends and practices.

Community Guidelines enforcement

Not everything on the internet is inspiring, so we have Community Guidelines to outline what we do and don’t allow on Pinterest. The following explains how we enforce those guidelines.

When we become aware of a violation of our Community Guidelines, we’ll take action:

  • Deactivation: When we deactivate content – such as Pins, boards, comments or user accounts – that content is no longer available to anyone on the platform. Deactivation can also be referred to as 'removal'; or
  • Limiting distribution: When we limit the distribution of a Pin, it will continue to be accessible on Pinterest, but it won’t be featured in recommendation or discovery surfaces, such as search results or the home feed.

We determine whether content should be removed or limited in distribution based on how much risk of harm it poses, particularly the severity of its impact and the vulnerability of its target. Depending on the context, we may allow content that would typically be deactivated for violation of our Community Guidelines to instead remain on Pinterest, but limit its distribution so that people don’t come across it accidentally. For example, we may limit distribution of content where the context is acceptable (such as condemnation or education).

We may limit or remove boards or accounts for repeated violations of the Community Guidelines or when they are dedicated to a policy violation. We may also remove an account after a single instance of a severe policy violation or if we determine that the account has repeatedly posted illegal content. If we limit or remove a board or account, that action applies to all of the Pins contained on the board or account. For example, if we limit the distribution of a board, all of the Pins on that board will also be limited in distribution. In addition, boards whose distribution has been limited will not be visible when viewing someone else’s profile. If we deactivate an entire account, all of the content (Pins and boards) on that account are also deactivated and no longer available to anyone on Pinterest. In certain circumstances, before an account is deactivated, we may place additional restrictions on its use of Pinterest, such as limiting the account’s ability to post or save content. You can read more about account removals (also known as deactivations or suspensions) here.

We strive to help Pinners find content that is inspirational, relevant and safe. Content that our systems predict may not meet those criteria may be shown less often or less prominently, even if we haven't determined that the content necessarily goes against our Community Guidelines. We may also implement additional product features to improve a Pinner’s experience. For example, we may apply a sensitivity screen in situations where our systems indicate that content might not be appropriate for all audiences. We may also limit certain features on Pins, such as turning off comments or not showing related content, when we think they may be unsafe or when appropriate to protect minors.

You can read our full Community Guidelines here.

Advertising Guidelines enforcement

We believe promoted content can play a big role in helping people create a life they love, which is why we want ads to be some of the best stuff you see on Pinterest. To that end, our team reviews some ads manually before allowing them to be shown to Pinners, although some ads may be reviewed automatically. For example, our systems may automatically review and approve an ad if it’s submitted by an advertiser with a history of policy compliance.

When we become aware of a violation of our Advertising Guidelines, we’ll take action:

  • Rejection: When an advertisement is rejected, it will not be shown to Pinners. We may reject an ad before ever showing it to anyone, or after the campaign has already begun to run, for example in response to a report from a Pinner who saw the ad;
  • Limited approval: Limited approval means that an ad may run but with restrictions, for example it may only be shown to people in certain regions or to people over a certain age; and/or
  • Advertiser removal: When we remove an advertiser, they no longer have access to Pinterest’s advertising tools. This doesn’t affect their ability to use other Pinterest products, though.

You can read our full Advertising Guidelines here.

Merchant Guidelines enforcement

We believe that, when people find great products from trusted merchants, it can empower them to do things they care about. When we approve a merchant, they gain access to Pinterest’s merchant products, such as Catalogues and Product Pins, which are subject to our Merchant Guidelines.

When we become aware of a violation of our Merchant Guidelines, we’ll take action:

  • Deactivation: When we deactivate a Pin, that Pin is no longer available to anyone on the platform. Deactivation can also be referred to as 'removal';
  • Limiting distribution: When we limit the distribution of a Pin, that Pin will continue to be accessible on Pinterest, but it won’t be featured in recommendation or discovery surfaces, such as search results or the home feed; and/or
  • Merchant rejection: If a merchant is rejected at any time, they are denied access to Pinterest’s merchant products.

You can read our full Merchant Guidelines here.

Enforcement procedures and systems

Our moderation practices are always evolving to keep up with new behaviours and trends, and to create a more positive place for the people on our platform.

Procedures
  • Reporting policy violations: Reports are how you can tell us if you think something on Pinterest is in violation of our policies. Reports can be submitted in-product or via the Help Centre. In certain circumstances, we may also provide a dedicated reporting form for reporting content, for example under local law or for intellectual property violations. Please note, we may take action to restrict or prevent the processing of reports from people who abuse our reporting channels. For example, to prevent abuse, we may limit the number of reports that one person can submit.
  • Reports under local law: Government authorities, Pinners and other third parties can report content that they believe may be illegal in their country. We may restrict access to such content within the relevant country if it violates local law but does not violate our policies. In limited circumstances, due to the functionality of our tools, we may deactivate content in cases of local law violations.
  • Appealing decisions: Appeals are how you can tell us if you think we made an enforcement error. Appeals can be submitted in-product, via the Help Centre or by clicking the one-click appeal link in an enforcement notice email that we have sent you. We review appeal requests and update our enforcement decision if we determine that we made a mistake, or in some cases to give people another chance to abide by our rules. Similarly to reports, we may limit appeals. For example, we may suspend the processing of appeals from people who frequently submit unfounded or abusive appeals, and we may limit the number of times that a particular decision can be appealed. We may also use automation to handle appeals more efficiently, for example by expanding a decision made on one Pin to other similar Pins. Appeal availability may vary for some product features or in some localities; in addition, some Pinners may have additional appeal options or mechanisms under their local law.
Systems

We enforce our policies through automated tools, manual review and hybrid approaches that combine elements of both. These systems may use machine learning as well as logic-based rules. Where appropriate, we may take into account information provided by trusted third parties and industry tools. You can read more about our methods in our transparency reports.

  • Automated actions: Our automated tools use a combination of signals to identify and take action against potentially violating content. For example, our machine learning models assign scores to content added to our platform. Our automated tools can then use those scores to perform appropriate enforcement actions.
  • Manual actions: We act manually on some Pins through our human review process. Pins actioned through this process may include those identified internally and those reported to us by third parties. It also includes Pins that are reviewed and actioned by one of our team members after a user report.
  • Hybrid actions: Hybrid actions include those where a team member determines that a Pin violates policy, and automated systems help expand that decision to enforce against machine-identified matching Pins. Depending on the prevalence of matching Pins, a hybrid action may result in a number of Pins being actioned or none at all.

The mechanisms used to address different potential policy violations may vary based on the state of available technology, the volume of violative content and other factors such as the complexity of evaluation. We continue to iterate and evolve our tools and expect ongoing improvements going forwards.

Additional enforcement measures
  • Links: We may moderate content based on links (URLs) associated with that content. For example, we may block the creation of a Pin that links to an inappropriate website, or we may remove or limit distribution of an existing Pin that links to an unsafe website.
  • Text: We may moderate content based on text associated with that content. For example, we may deactivate or limit content that contains violating text, or we may decline to show search results or ads in response to queries that contain policy-violating or sensitive text.