Transparency report

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

    Not everything on the Internet is inspiring, so we have guardrails for what’s acceptable on Pinterest and what isn’t allowed. Our moderation practices are always evolving to keep up with new behaviours and trends, and to create a more positive corner of the Internet for the people on our platform. We continue to invest heavily in measures such as machine-learning technology to fight policy-violating content on Pinterest and to work with outside experts and organisations to inform our policies and content moderation practices.

    We started publishing a biannual transparency report in 2013. Then, starting with Q4 2020, we expanded the report to include new information on the actions we take to uphold our Community Guidelines. In this transparency report, you’ll find information on our efforts to moderate user and merchant content, such as the number of policy violations and deactivations. This report also includes insights into the volume of information and deactivation requests we received from law enforcement and government agencies. The data reported here covers the first half of 2021, from January to June 2021.

    Pinterest’s industry-leading policies and practices are something we’re proud of. But more importantly, they’re the right thing for the people on our platform. They help keep Pinterest a more positive and inspiring place online – for example, we prioritise mental health with features such as our compassionate search function, and help protect users under our long-standing policy prohibiting medical misinformation. We want to advance the industry on these issues so that – together – we can create a more inspiring Internet.
     

  • What’s new in this report

    This report might look a bit different to our last transparency report. Firstly, we know that numbers alone can’t tell the whole story so we’ve added a section on community safety and wellbeing, which describes some of the ways we’ve invested in our community through policies, products and partnerships this past six months. We’re proud of the work we’ve done in this area, and we’re committed to continuing to invest in the health of our community.

    We’ve also updated our section on Community Guidelines enforcement to be organised by policy category instead of action type. So, for example, in our last report there was a section on Pin deactivations and another section for board deactivations. Now, there is a section for each policy category that includes the number of Pins and boards deactivated due to violation of that policy. We made this change to provide a more holistic view of our content moderation actions within a policy category. 

    It’s important to note that, even with this new format, we’re still reporting all of the same information that we included in our last transparency report. In fact, we’ve also added new information, specifically data on how we deactivate Pins, whether that’s through automated tools, manual review or a hybrid approach that combines elements of both. Check out the methodology section below for more information on how we calculated this data.

    We’re committed to providing greater transparency into how we keep Pinterest safe and inspiring, and we'll continue to iterate on this report in the future.

Community safety and wellbeing

  • We continue to invest in our policies, products and partnerships to support the safety and wellbeing of our community. Here are just some of the key updates we made in the first six months of 2021.

  • Algorithms and skin tone ranges

    As a content distribution platform, we have a responsibility to diminish bias in the algorithms and systems that drive Pinterest. We do this in large part by applying diverse data in our artificial reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Our focus in these areas can be seen in how we’ve developed features such as AR try-on and skin tone ranges that allow users to refine beauty-related searches to find what they’re looking for. Our dataset has diversified over time to help people customise their searches. In the first half of the year, there were millions of searches using skin tone ranges, and in March 2021, we expanded the feature to 13 more countries: France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Colombia. 

  • Launching the Creator Code

    As part of our work to build a positive online space for creators, we introduced the Creator Code, our content commitment designed to educate and empower content creators to fulfil their responsibility to keep Pinterest a positive and inspiring place. The code outlines core pillars that creators must accept before posting Idea Pins – Be kind. Check your facts. Do no harm. Watch for triggers. Practise inclusion. 

    Simply put, the code asks creators to lead with positivity, kindness and inclusion. This collective effort to mitigate negativity is a critical step in our journey to build a positive experience that adds lasting value to the lives of people on Pinterest.
     

Community Guidelines enforcement

  • Pinterest’s Community Guidelines are designed to support our mission of inspiration. They govern what we do and do not allow on Pinterest, and all users must abide by them. 

    We have additional guidelines for merchants and advertisers to set clear expectations about what is and is not acceptable for product Pins and advertisements. These guidelines include especially high standards that are for the safety of all audiences who use Pinterest. We believe you can't feel inspired if you don't first feel safe.

    To help us cultivate a safe and inspired community, we develop and enforce content policies that help ensure our platform is a positive place where people can find real-life ideas for what to try next, cook next, wear next or do next. We work hard to identify and deactivate harmful content from our site, and our content policies and moderation practices are always evolving to keep up with new behaviours and trends, and to create a more positive corner of the Internet for users. 

    We may block, limit the distribution of or deactivate content and the accounts, individuals and groups that create or spread that content, based on how much harm it poses. In the event that a user believes a deactivation was in error, Pinterest provides options to appeal the deactivation.
     

Methodology

  • Distinct images and Pins deactivated

    Every day, millions of people all over the world come to Pinterest to create, discover and save new ideas that are shared in Pins. To understand how we approach content moderation, it’s helpful to differentiate between two types of Pin: organic and ads. Our Community Guidelines apply to both.

    Organic Pins include all Pins created and saved on Pinterest that are not promoted as ads. For example, this could include merchants’ product Pins, which aren’t always ads, and may appear organically to people who are searching for products on Pinterest. We have additional requirements, such as that the Pin image and description must accurately represent the product, for merchants and their product Pins. All types of organic Pins are included in our transparency reports.

    Ads are Pins that businesses pay to promote. We have additional policies for advertisers that hold ads and advertisers to even higher standards. Ad policies are enforced differently from those for organic content, and are not included in these transparency reports.

    Much of the content on Pinterest has been saved repeatedly, meaning that the same image may appear in multiple Pins. So when it comes to reporting content moderation for organic Pins, we include the number of Pins deactivated as well as the number of distinct images deactivated to provide greater insight into our moderation practices for this type of content. 

    We report boards and accounts deactivated separately. To avoid double-counting deactivations, our count of distinct images and Pins deactivated does not include those on boards or from user accounts that were deactivated.
     

  • How we deactivate Pins

    We deactivate policy-violating Pins through automated tools, manual review and a hybrid approach that combines elements of both. 

    Automated deactivations. Our automated tools use a combination of signals to identify and take action against potentially violating content. Our machine-learning models assign scores to each image added to our platform. Using those scores, our automated tools can then apply the same enforcement decision to other Pins containing the same images.

    Manual deactivations. We manually deactivate Pins through our human review process. Pins deactivated using this process may include those identified internally and those reported to us by third parties. It also includes the Pins that are reviewed and deactivated by one of our team members after a user report.

    Hybrid deactivations. Hybrid deactivations include those where a human 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 deactivation may result in a number of Pins being deactivated 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 violating content and other factors such as the complexity of evaluation. We continue to iterate and evolve our tools and expect ongoing improvements going forwards.

  • Reach of Pins deactivated due to policy violation

    People often ask how many users saw a Pin before it was deactivated. In most cases, the answer is not many. 

    For example, 70% of Pins that we deactivated for civic misinformation in Q2 were never seen by users in that reporting period – even with more than 400 million people visiting Pinterest every month.

    Reach is one of our key indicators of user experience. To calculate this metric, we start by looking at each policy-violating Pin deactivated in a reporting period. Then we count the number of unique users that saw each of those Pins during the reporting period for at least 1 second, before it was deactivated. Reach for a policy category may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

  • Actioned user reports

    Users can report Pins they find objectionable by clicking on the three small dots on any Pin and selecting 'Report Pin'. Once we have confirmed a policy violation and taken action, we consider the report an actioned user report.

    The total number of actioned user reports – in other words, reports found to have correctly identified policy violations – is another key indicator of user experience on Pinterest. So is the number of reporters: fewer than 0.01% of monthly active users reported a Pin that resulted in a Pin deactivation in Q2.

  • Boards deactivated

    When users find Pins they like or want to come back to, they save them to boards they’ve created. Over time, our users have created billions of boards. 

    When a board is deactivated due to policy violation, all of the Pins on that board are also deactivated. Similarly, when we deactivate an entire account, that user’s boards are also deactivated. To avoid double-counting deactivations, our count of boards deactivated does not include those from user accounts that were deactivated.

  • Accounts deactivated

    Think of “accounts” on Pinterest as “profiles” or, most often, individual users. If someone saves Pins and creates boards, that content becomes associated with their account. This is also true for business, advertiser, merchant and creator accounts. 

    Any account may be deactivated due to violation of our policies. When an account is deactivated, all of its Pins and boards are also deactivated. That means that if you search for it or click on an old link to its profile, that profile won’t show up any more. The Pins won’t appear anywhere on Pinterest and the deactivated user won’t be able to access their own Pins or boards either.

  • Account appeals and reinstatements

    If people believe their accounts have been deactivated by mistake, they can follow an appeal process to have their accounts reinstated. We review appeal requests and grant the appeal if we determine that we made a mistake, or in some cases to give people another chance to abide by our Community Guidelines.

    We also process appeals for deactivated Pins and boards and expect to include that data in reports in the future.

  • Reporting periods

    Our reporting on Community Guidelines enforcement covers the first half of 2021, from January to June 2021. We’ve split that into two reporting periods: Q1 and Q2. 

    Q1 covers the first quarter of the year, from January to March 2021, while Q2 covers the second quarter of the year, from April to June 2021. Sometimes we also refer to Q4 2020 (October to December 2020) when we’re talking about quarter-by-quarter trends.

Adult content

  • Pinterest isn’t a place for pornography. We deactivate content that violates our adult content policy and do not deliver results for searches determined to violate this policy. We have established guidelines to help differentiate between pornography and other mature content such as content related to sexual health, breastfeeding, mastectomies, art and education.

    Recent trends

    In Q1 2021, we launched new machine-learning tools to detect and deactivate boards for violation of our adult content policy. As a result, we saw an increase in the number of boards and accounts deactivated. Looking at Q2 2021 compared with Q4 2020, there was also a 15% decrease in actioned user reports per monthly active user – one of our key indicators of user experience – that we attribute to this effort.

    Our content policies and moderation practices are always evolving to better keep our platform safe for all users. So far, we’ve focused our use of these new machine-learning tools on enforcing against our adult content policy, and we’re currently exploring how they may work for other types of policy violation. 

  • Content enforcement

    Reach* of Pins deactivated due to adult content

      Q1 2021 Q2 2021
    Seen by 0 people 80% 81%
    Seen by 1-10 people 15% 15%
    Seen by 10-100 people 3% 3%
    Seen by 100+ people 1.6% 1.3%

    * To calculate reach, we start by looking at each policy-violating Pin deactivated in a reporting period. Then we count the number of unique users that saw each of those Pins during the reporting period for at least 1 second, before it was deactivated. Quarterly percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

    In Q1 2021, we deactivated 2,029,934 distinct images, which comprised 47,120,204 Pins, for violation of this policy. Of these Pins, 80% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated fewer than 1% manually and more than 99% with hybrid tools. We actioned 128,015 user reports that resulted in a Pin being deactivated for violation of this policy. We also deactivated 179,994 boards and 17,659 accounts. We received 2,335 account appeals and reinstated 1,634 accounts.

    In Q2 2021, we deactivated 1,486,098 distinct images, which comprised 46,130,733 Pins, for violation of this policy. Of these Pins, 81% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated fewer than 1% manually and more than 99% with hybrid tools. We actioned 136,218 user reports that resulted in a Pin being deactivated for violation of this policy. We also deactivated 131,664 boards and 13,468 accounts for violation of this policy. We received 2,398 account appeals and reinstated 1,442 accounts.

Adult sexual services

  • We prohibit adult sexual services on Pinterest, and the amount of such content we find on the platform is low. Adult sexual services may involve commercial sex work, sexual or physical exploitation, or trafficking, such as escort services, prostitution, sex cams, or sex- or nudity-for-money services.

    Recent trends

    Sometimes Pins do not have content that would violate our adult content policy but may still contain offers for adult sexual services. When we identify Pins like that, we deactivate them for violation of our adult sexual services policy. 

    In Q2 2021, we deactivated 1,263 Pins for violation of this policy and, of those, 78% were seen by fewer than 100 users in that reporting period.
     

  • Content enforcement

    Reach of Pins deactivated due to adult sexual services

      Q1 2021 Q2 2021
    Seen by 0 people 1.5% 0.7%
    Seen by 1-10 people 41% 45%
    Seen by 10-100 people 28% 32%
    Seen by 100+ people 29% 22%

     

    In Q1 2021, we deactivated 520 distinct images, which comprised 533 Pins, for violation of this policy. Of these Pins, 71% were seen by fewer than 100 users in this reporting period. We deactivated 100% of Pins manually. We actioned 536 user reports that resulted in a Pin being deactivated for violation of this policy. We also deactivated 348 boards and 271 accounts. We received 11 account appeals and reinstated 3 accounts.

    In Q2 2021, we deactivated 1,245 distinct images, which comprised 1,263 Pins, for violation of this policy. Of these Pins, 78% were seen by fewer than 100 users in this reporting period. We deactivated 100% of Pins manually. We actioned 613 user reports that resulted in a Pin being deactivated for violation of this policy. We also deactivated 708 boards and 500 accounts for violation of this policy. We received 14 account appeals and reinstated 4 accounts.

Child sexual exploitation (CSE)

  • Pinterest does not tolerate child sexual exploitation (CSE) of any kind on our platform. That means we enforce a strict, zero-tolerance policy for any content—including imagery, video, or text—that might exploit or endanger minors. Detecting and removing this type of content is of the utmost importance to our Trust and Safety team, and we are proud of our broad-reaching policies and robust efforts to keep our users safe.

    While digital platforms are required by law to prohibit illegal child sexual abuse material (CSAM), the CSE policy at Pinterest goes a step further to prohibit any content that contributes to the sexualization of minors. For example, we do not tolerate content that suggests the sexualization of minors in the form of cartoons or anime. We also prohibit the intentional misuse of content depicting minors engaging in non-sexualized activities, like modeling clothing or participating in athletics.

    We proactively identify CSE images and videos by leveraging our own internal tools and shared industry tools such as PhotoDNA, which uses a shared industry hash database of known CSAM, and CSAI Match to identify video content. We also work closely with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to combat this type of activity, and report content violations in appropriate circumstances under the law. From July to December 2021, our team of specialists was responsible for 1,794 CyberTipline reports to NCMEC.

    A note on what we’re reporting and why

    CSE is one of the most serious harms addressed by Trust and Safety teams at Pinterest and across the Internet. Because of this sensitivity, it deserves extra consideration as we decide how to present information in this report. After consulting with industry experts, Pinterest ultimately chose to include all of the same metrics for CSE that we include for our other content policies, including reach and actioned user reports. These types of metrics are our indicators for how policy-violating content impacts the experience of users on the site. However, we want to be very clear: By sharing reach and actioned user reports for CSE content, we are not implying in any way that harm to children is somehow lessened if fewer people see it. The content is violative and wrong, no matter how many people see it. We share the data only to be transparent in our efforts to remove CSE from our platform. 

    We also count all deactivations for CSE, no matter what other actions may have already been taken against the Pin, board or user. For example, if a Pin has been automatically deactivated—meaning no one on the platform can see it—for violating our Spam policy but we later learn that it contains material that violates our CSE policy, the Pin is counted in both our Spam and CSE deactivation numbers. Even though that Pin had not been visible or accessible on Pinterest, we still need to take appropriate action, like making a report to National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) if we determine that the image is illegal CSAM. We’ve included those deactivations in our reporting on CSE to provide more accurate insight into these violations.

    While we work hard to find and remove this type of content, there is always more work to do—and we are committed to doing it.

  • Content enforcement

    Reach of Pins deactivated for child sexual exploitation (CSE)

      Q3 2021 Q4 2021
    Seen by 0 people 72% 83%
    Seen by 1-10 people 21% 13%
    Seen by 10-100 people 4% 3%
    Seen by 100+ people 2% 2%

     

    In Q3 2021, we deactivated 2,362 distinct images, which comprised 262,164 Pins, for violating our CSE policy. Of these, we determined that 295 distinct images, which comprised 981 Pins, were illegal CSAM, and we reported them to NCMEC. Of the total Pins deactivated this quarter for CSE, 98% were seen by fewer than 100 users in this reporting period. We deactivated fewer than 1% manually and more than 99% with hybrid tools. We actioned 1,378 user reports that resulted in a Pin deactivated for violating this policy. We also deactivated 862 boards and 28,289 accounts. We received 5,718 account appeals and reinstated 4,305 accounts. 

    In Q4 2021, we deactivated 2,545 distinct images, which comprised 104,029 Pins, for violating our CSE policy. Of these, we determined that 228 distinct images, which comprised 627 Pins, were illegal CSAM, and we reported them to NCMEC. Of the total Pins deactivated this quarter for CSE, 98% were seen by fewer than 100 users in this reporting period. We deactivated 2% manually and 98% with hybrid tools. We actioned 1,044 user reports that resulted in a Pin deactivated for violating this policy. We also deactivated 578 boards and 17,423 accounts for violating this policy. We received 3,110 account appeals and reinstated 2,120 accounts.

Civic misinformation

  • We introduced our civic misinformation policy in 2020 as an addition to several existing Community Guidelines on misinformation and disinformation. This policy prohibits false or misleading content on Pinterest that impedes an election’s integrity or an individual's or group's civic participation, including registering to vote, voting and being counted in a census.

    Recent trends

    As part of our efforts to maintain a safe platform during the US presidential transition, there was a relative increase in the number of boards and accounts deactivated for violation of this policy in Q1 2021.

  • Content enforcement

    Reach of Pins deactivated due to civic misinformation

      Q1 2021 Q2 2021
    Seen by 0 people 80% 70%
    Seen by 1-10 people 16% 26%
    Seen by 10-100 people 3% 3%
    Seen by 100+ people 0.9% 0.8%

     

     

    In Q1 2021, we deactivated 2,044 distinct images, which comprised 6,895 Pins, for violation of this policy. Of these Pins, 80% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated 96% of Pins manually and 4% with hybrid tools. We actioned 111 user reports that resulted in a Pin being deactivated for violation of this policy. We also deactivated 546 boards and 45 accounts. We received 13 account appeals and reinstated 11 accounts.

    In Q2 2021, we deactivated 349 distinct images, which comprised 2,316 Pins, for violation of this policy. Of these Pins, 70% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated 16% of Pins manually and 84% with hybrid tools. We actioned 118 user reports that resulted in a Pin being deactivated for violation of this policy. We also deactivated 92 boards and 9 accounts for violation of this policy. We received 4 account appeals and reinstated 3 accounts.

Conspiracy theories

  • Our conspiracy theory policy is one of several policies in our Community Guidelines that prohibit misinformation and disinformation on Pinterest. Conspiracy theories include content that turns or encourages turning individuals, groups of people, places or organisations into targets of harassment or physical violence, such as hate-based conspiracy theories and misinformation about mass atrocities.

    Recent trends

    We sometimes perform a sweeping clean-up across the platform that can cause a temporary spike in take-downs of certain types of content. The ultimate outcome is of course a good thing: a cleaner, safer, more inspiring place for everyone. 

    We saw this with conspiracy theories in Q2 when we performed a clean-up across the platform as part of our usual content enforcement efforts. This generated a temporary spike in Pins being deactivated. This rise is not due to any known increase of violating content, and more importantly 95% of those Pins were never seen by users during that reporting period.

  • Content enforcement

    Reach of Pins deactivated due to conspiracy theories

      Q1 2021 Q2 2021
    Seen by 0 people 92% 95%
    Seen by 1-10 people 6% 5%
    Seen by 10-100 people 1% 0.3%
    Seen by 100+ people 0.3% 0.1%

     

    In Q1 2021, we deactivated 24,134 distinct images, which comprised 166,189 Pins, for violation of this policy. Of these Pins, 92% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated 2% of Pins manually and 98% with hybrid tools. We actioned 217 user reports that resulted in a Pin being deactivated for violation of this policy. We also deactivated 592 boards and 116 accounts. We received 20 account appeals and reinstated 11 accounts.

    In Q2 2021, we deactivated 16,204 distinct images, which comprised 1,148,947 Pins, for violation of this policy. Of these Pins, 95% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated fewer than 1% manually and more than 99% with hybrid tools. We actioned 318 user reports that resulted in a Pin being deactivated for violation of this policy. We also deactivated 451 boards and 81 accounts for violation of this policy. We received 13 account appeals and reinstated 5 accounts.

Dangerous goods and activities

  • Pinterest isn’t a place for trading, selling or engaging in dangerous goods or activities. Dangerous goods are products or substances that might cause harm when used, altered or manufactured irresponsibly. Dangerous activities – including displaying or encouraging dangerous activities – are also not welcome on Pinterest.

    Recent trends

    We performed a sweeping clean-up across the platform for dangerous goods and activities content in Q1 and Q2 2021, leading to a temporary spike in take-downs of this type of content. The ultimate outcome of work like this is a cleaner, safer, more inspiring place for everyone. 

    This effort, applied to organic Pins and not promoted ads or products, generated a temporary spike in Pins being deactivated for violation of this policy. This rise is not due to any known sustained increase of violative content.

    A smaller portion of the increase in Pins deactivated in Q1 2021 was driven by the detection and deactivation of Pins related to a harmful weight-control drug, which also led to the deactivation of a significant number of boards and accounts. 
     

  • Content enforcement

    Reach of Pins deactivated due to dangerous goods and activities

      Q1 2021 Q2 2021
    Seen by 0 people 95% 97%
    Seen by 1-10 people 4% 2%
    Seen by 10-100 people 0.6% 0.2%
    Seen by 100+ people 0.4% 0.1%

     

    In Q1 2021, we deactivated 108,534 distinct images, which comprised 839,389 Pins, for violation of this policy. Of these Pins, 95% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated 5% manually, fewer than 1% automatically and 95% with hybrid tools. We actioned 3,136 user reports that resulted in a Pin being deactivated for violation of this policy. We also deactivated 2,344 boards and 403 accounts. We received 14 account appeals and reinstated 4 accounts.

    In Q2 2021, we deactivated 938,363 distinct images, which comprised 12,286,669 Pins, for violation of this policy. Of these Pins, 97% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated fewer than 1% of Pins manually, fewer than 1% automatically and more than 99% with hybrid tools. We actioned 3,394 user reports that resulted in a Pin being deactivated for violation of this policy. We also deactivated 1,814 boards and 501 accounts for violation of this policy. We received 17 account appeals and reinstated 5 accounts.

Graphic violence and threats

  • We prohibit graphic violence and threats on Pinterest. This includes most content that shows the use of violence, threats and language that glorifies violence.

    Recent trends

    There was a relative increase in the amount of content deactivated for violation of our graphic violence and threats policy during the US presidential transition in Q1 2021.

  • Content enforcement

    Reach of Pins deactivated due to graphic violence and threats

      Q1 2021 Q2 2021
    Seen by 0 people 96% 26%
    Seen by 1-10 people 3% 28%
    Seen by 10-100 people 0.4% 21%
    Seen by 100+ people 0.5% 26%

     

    In Q1 2021, we deactivated 3,376 distinct images, which comprised 254,455 Pins, for violation of this policy. Of these Pins, 96% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated 2% of Pins manually and 98% with hybrid tools. We actioned 873 user reports that resulted in a Pin being deactivated for violation of this policy. We also deactivated 1,184 boards and 243 accounts. We received 15 account appeals and reinstated 10 accounts.

    In Q2 2021, we deactivated 4,005 distinct images, which comprised 7,173 Pins, for violation of this policy. Of these Pins, 74% were seen by fewer than 100 users in this reporting period. We deactivated 79% of Pins manually and 21% with hybrid tools. We actioned 1,848 user reports that resulted in a Pin being deactivated for violation of this policy. We also deactivated 767 boards and 72 accounts for violation of this policy. We received 29 account appeals and reinstated 13 accounts.

Harassment and criticism

  • Pinterest is not a place for harassment and criticism, and we prohibit content that insults, hurts or antagonises individuals or groups of people. This includes manipulated images intended to degrade or shame, shaming people for their bodies or assumed sexual or romantic history, sexual remarks about people’s bodies, solicitations or offers of sexual acts, and mocking someone for experiencing sadness, grief, loss or outrage.

    Recent trends

    We try to be very mindful about when we use hybrid tools and, more importantly, how we scale them. Remember, hybrid deactivations include those where a human determines that a piece of content violates policy, and automated systems expand that decision to enforce against machine-identified matching Pins. For example, a hybrid deactivation may be appropriate if we determine that the image in a Pin violates policy, but it may not be appropriate if the same image might be allowed in other situations, or if the initial Pin is deactivated for reasons other than the image it shows.

    In Q2 2021, the vast majority of Pins deactivated for violation of our harassment and criticism policy were the result of a hybrid deactivation that included a small handful of misclassified images. We reactivated those deactivated Pins when we spotted the error and have made improvements to the process to minimise the chances of it happening again.

    We’ve included those false positives in the Q2 enforcement data, but we excluded them from the reach metric for this policy in an effort to provide a more accurate insight into the number of users who saw a Pin that actually violated this policy before the Pin was deactivated. For Q2, 79% of such Pins were never seen by people in that reporting period.

  • Content enforcement

    Reach of Pins deactivated due to harassment and criticism

      Q1 2021 Q2 2021
    Seen by 0 people 87% 79%
    Seen by 1-10 people 10% 18%
    Seen by 10-100 people 2% 3%
    Seen by 100+ people 1% 1%

     

    * See the Recent trends section above for details about how we calculated reach for this policy in Q2 2021.

    In Q1 2021, we deactivated 5,540 distinct images, which comprised 124,713 Pins, for violation of this policy. Of these Pins, 87% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated 11% of Pins manually and 89% with hybrid tools. We actioned 4,483 user reports that resulted in a Pin being deactivated for violation of this policy. We also deactivated 977 boards and 594 accounts. We received 57 account appeals and reinstated 43 accounts.

    In Q2 2021, we deactivated 7,238 distinct images, which comprised 1,238,782 Pins, for violation of this policy. We determined that a small handful of these distinct images, and their more than 990,000 machine-identified matching Pins, were incorrectly deactivated, and we reinstated that content after spotting the error. Of the Pins that we believe were correctly deactivated, 79% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated fewer than 1% of Pins manually and more than 99% with hybrid tools. We actioned 5,383 user reports that resulted in a Pin being deactivated for violation of this policy. We also deactivated 1,025 boards and 292 accounts for violation of this policy. We received 33 account appeals and reinstated 22 accounts.

Hateful activities

  • We prohibit hateful content and the people and groups that promote hateful activities on Pinterest. Hateful activities include slurs and negative stereotypes, caricatures and generalisations, as well as support for hate groups and people promoting hateful activities.

    Recent trends

    We believe that everyone deserve a safe space to cultivate their interests and seek inspiration, regardless of their actual or perceived race, colour, caste, ethnicity, immigration status, national origin, religion or faith, sex or gender identity, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition.

    In Q1 and Q2 2021, we saw a relative decrease in boards and accounts being deactivated compared with Q4 2020. We deactivated fewer Pins in Q2, and 74% of those Pins were seen by fewer than 100 users in that reporting period.

  • Content enforcement

    Reach of Pins deactivated due to hateful activities

      Q1 2021 Q2 2021
    Seen by 0 people 70% 22%
    Seen by 1-10 people 13% 34%
    Seen by 10-100 people 7% 18%
    Seen by 100+ people 11% 26%

     

    In Q1 2021, we deactivated 2,487 distinct images, which comprised 8,823 Pins, for violation of this policy. Of these Pins, 70% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated 30% of Pins manually and 70% with hybrid tools. We actioned 862 user reports that resulted in a Pin being deactivated for violation of this policy. We also deactivated 665 boards and 82 accounts. We received 22 account appeals and reinstated 13 accounts.

    In Q2 2021, we deactivated 3,418 distinct images, which comprised 6,086 Pins, for violation of this policy. Of these Pins, 74% were seen by fewer than 100 users in this reporting period. We deactivated 60% of Pins manually and 40% with hybrid tools. We actioned 1,948 user reports that resulted in a Pin being deactivated for violation of this policy. We also deactivated 739 boards and 126 accounts for violation of this policy. We received 23 account appeals and reinstated 12 accounts. 

Medical misinformation

  • Our medical misinformation policy is one of several policies in our Community Guidelines that prohibit misinformation and disinformation on Pinterest. This policy prohibits medically unsupported health claims that risk a user’s health or wider public health and safety, including the promotion of false cures, anti-vaccination advice, or misinformation about public health or safety emergencies. We rely on information from nationally and internationally recognised institutions, including the CDC and WHO, to help us determine if content violates these guidelines.

    Recent trends

    Pinterest is deeply committed to combatting health misinformation. As COVID-19 vaccines were made more widely available around the world, we deactivated content that violated our medical misinformation policy and worked closely with health experts to ensure we stayed up to date on the latest developments. We saw a relative increase in the number of Pins deactivated in Q2 2021, and 92% of these Pins were seen by fewer than 100 users in this reporting period.

  • Content enforcement

    Reach of Pins deactivated due to medical misinformation

      Q1 2021 Q2 2021
    Seen by 0 people 74% 65%
    Seen by 1-10 people 16% 19%
    Seen by 10-100 people 3% 8%
    Seen by 100+ people 8% 8%

     

    In Q1 2021, we deactivated 4,256 distinct images, which comprised 11,097 Pins, for violation of this policy. Of these Pins, 74% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated 48% of Pins automatically, 12% manually and 40% with hybrid tools. We also deactivated 473 boards and 35 accounts. We received 7 account appeals and reinstated 5 accounts.

    In Q2 2021, we deactivated 4,869 distinct images, which comprised 19,852 Pins, for violation of this policy. Of these Pins, 65% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated 31% of Pins automatically, 30% manually and 39% with hybrid tools. We also deactivated 462 boards and 34 accounts for violation of this policy. We received 11 account appeals and reinstated 6 accounts.

Self-injury and harmful behaviour

  • Combatting self-harm is a priority for us as we strive to ensure that Pinterest plays a positive role in people’s lives. Content that displays, rationalises or encourages suicide, self-harm, eating disorders or substance abuse isn’t welcome on our platform. This includes self-harm instructions, sensitive imagery, and suicidal thinking and quotes. 

    Our ongoing partnership with the Samaritans, an organisation dedicated to reducing feelings of isolation and disconnection that can lead to suicide, continues to help the industry tackle self-harm content and make the Internet a safer place for everyone. In 2019, we deepened our relationship with the Samaritans by joining their newly formed industry-wide programme. Partnerships like this help us support expert research and development within the field of mental health so that more people in need can find support, no matter what app or website they use. 

    Recent trends

    In Q1 and Q2, we continued investing in work to improve content moderation for self-harm content, and provided support millions of times to those in need through our compassionate search experience.

    In Q1 2021, hybrid deactivations resulted in more Pins being deactivated but fewer distinct images being deactivated than in Q2. More importantly, 99% of the Pins deactivated in Q1 were seen by fewer than 100 people in that reporting period. 

  • Content enforcement

    Reach of Pins deactivated due to self-harm and harmful behaviour

      Q1 2021 Q2 2021
    Seen by 0 people 86% 88%
    Seen by 1-10 people 12% 8%
    Seen by 10-100 people 2% 2%
    Seen by 100+ people 1% 2%

     

    In Q1 2021, we deactivated 2,945 distinct images, which comprised 302,918 Pins, for violation of this policy. Of these Pins, 86% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated 1% of Pins manually and 99% with hybrid tools. We actioned 1,066 user reports that resulted in a Pin being deactivated for violation of this policy. We also deactivated 545 boards and 79 accounts. We received 13 account appeals and reinstated 12 accounts.

    In Q2 2021, we deactivated 3,824 distinct images, which comprised 81,444 Pins, for violation of this policy. Of these Pins, 88% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated 10% of Pins manually and 90% with hybrid tools. We actioned 1,567 user reports that resulted in a Pin being deactivated for violation of this policy. We also deactivated 828 boards and 123 accounts for violation of this policy. We received 28 account appeals and reinstated 25 accounts.

Spam

  • We want the inspiration and ideas on Pinterest to be high quality and useful, so we deactivate spam when we find it. The goal of spammers is to make money, and the best way to do this is to spam at scale. It’s a numbers game: one million spam emails are much more effective than one spam email. The same kinds of spamming efforts can happen on any content distribution platform, including Pinterest. Platforms’ interactions with spammers are generally both adversarial and iterative with users who intentionally try to evade the system and continually update their techniques. 

    Recent trends

    At Pinterest, we use the latest in machine-learning technology to build automated models that swiftly detect and act against spam of all kinds. We not only use the latest modelling techniques, we also iterate on these models at regular intervals by adding new data and exploring new technical breakthroughs to either maintain or improve their performance over time to effectively address spam. Given the adversarial, iterative nature of fighting spam, content enforcement numbers may change quarter by quarter, especially after a large attack.
     

  • Content enforcement

    Reach of Pins deactivated due to spam

      Q1 2021 Q2 2021
    Seen by 0 people 65% 61%
    Seen by 1-10 people 15% 20%
    Seen by 10-100 people 13% 12%
    Seen by 100+ people 7% 7%

     

    In Q1 2021, we deactivated 336,821 distinct images, which comprised 1,042,960 Pins, for violation of this policy. Of these Pins, 65% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated less than 1% of Pins manually and more than 99% automatically. We also deactivated 1 board and 4,420,965 accounts. We received 112,139 account appeals and reinstated 84,541 accounts.

    In Q2 2021, we deactivated 118,054 distinct images, which comprised 378,490 Pins, for violation of this policy. Of these Pins, 61% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated less than 1% of Pins manually and more than 99% automatically. We also deactivated 3,104,408 accounts for violation of this policy. We received 80,624 account appeals and reinstated 61,050 accounts.

Intellectual property policies enforcement

  • Pinterest respects the intellectual property rights of others and we expect people on Pinterest to do the same. It’s our policy in appropriate circumstances to deactivate the accounts of people who repeatedly infringe or are repeatedly charged with infringing copyrights or other intellectual property rights.

  • Intellectual property notices

    Pinterest provides multiple mechanisms to submit notices alleging intellectual property infringement. The first can be found in-product right next to the content at issue. Users can flag Pins they find objectionable by clicking on the three small dots on any Pin and hitting “Report Pin.” We also provide a form and physical and email addresses for submitting intellectual property notices, all of which can be easily located on our Policy site. 

    Submitters have the option to identify one piece of content or many. We assess each piece of content identified in a submission and process those that we find to be complete. If we need more information about the submitter or about any content identified, we engage with the person or entity that submitted that notice to give them the opportunity to provide that information. If at any point they are able to submit a complete and valid notice alleging intellectual property infringement, Pinterest will comply with the notice and deactivate the content identified.

    We may consider a notice to be invalid and decline to deactivate content identified when appropriate, such as when the notice:

    • Does not include all legally required information
    • Does not make a plausible intellectual property claim, as when a use is non-infringing
    • Is not actionable, including when the content has already been deactivated
    • Is spam

    Given the complex nature of these cases, we’ve included a number of metrics to provide greater insight into the steps that we take to assess intellectual property submissions and engage with the persons or entities who submit them.

  • Appeals

    When a user’s content is deactivated as the result of an intellectual property notice, we send them an email notification that includes information on how to appeal our actions if they wish to do so. We evaluate appeals, which may be in the form of a counter-notice under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and remedy the situation if we determine that there was an actionable appeal. As we do with intellectual property notices, we engage with the person or entity who submitted the appeal to get more information if necessary. If at any point they are able to submit a complete and valid appeal, Pinterest will take appropriate action to remedy the situation.

Copyright

  • Pinterest has always been a place for content creators, brands and publishers worldwide to feature their content and build value. Many creators upload their own content or encourage users to do so using buttons on their websites designed to facilitate saving to Pinterest, and welcome the exposure and user traffic generated when users save images. We work hard to give creators control over their content, including by designating which websites should be linked to and receive traffic from saved images, using features like our “No Pin” code if they wish to restrict saving from their websites, or claiming content on Pinterest through our Content Claiming Portal

    In cases where rightsholders do not want their content to appear on Pinterest, we offer several mechanisms for content removal. Copyright owners and those authorized to act on their behalf can report alleged copyright infringements through our copyright reporting mechanisms including our in-product reporting option, our reporting form or via email to copyright [at] pinterest.com. Once we’ve assessed a copyright notice, we take appropriate action, which may include removing the reported content from Pinterest. We also offer the Content Claiming Portal, a tool launched in 2021 that enables rightsholders to claim their content and decide if and how it appears on Pinterest. When we take action based on a copyright notice or information gathered in the Content Claiming Portal, we notify affected users and provide information on how to appeal our actions if they wish to.

    Copyright and other forms of intellectual property present unique content moderation challenges. While moderators can often identify content that violates our other policies, like those prohibiting adult content or threats, simply by looking at the content, this is not the case for copyright. Identifying copyright infringement generally requires additional knowledge about the content’s origin, legal status, ownership, licensing, or other information that is not readily apparent—such as whether the owner authorized use by another party through agreements that Pinterest is not privy to. Because of this, rightsholders alone are in a position to know whether a particular use is or is not authorized. The notification process is a means for rightsholders to provide this necessary information to Pinterest. Copyright is also unique because the proper response to infringement is not always to deactivate the content. Some rightsholders may choose to deactivate content, while others prefer to keep their content on Pinterest but correct its attribution or add a link to their website. 

    For these reasons, both our moderation process and the data reported here are not always directly comparable to our other sections on Community guidelines enforcement. That’s why, for example, we’ve added metrics such as the number of notices we processed based on the initial submission and the number of times we sought more information, and omitted our metric showing the reach of deactivated Pins. We’re committed to providing greater transparency into how we enforce intellectual property protections on Pinterest, and we'll continue to iterate on this report going forward.
     

  • Content enforcement

    In Q3 2021, we received 26,434 submissions through our copyright reporting mechanisms. Of these submissions, 190 were determined to be requests unrelated to intellectual property and forwarded to the appropriate team at Pinterest. We determined that another 4,649 were spam and discarded them. We found 15,537 to be complete upon submission, and we processed all content identified in each notice. We sought information for an additional 5,471 submissions which we determined to be incomplete and ultimately processed 1,149 of those submissions. In total, we processed 16,686 notices and deactivated 51,833 distinct images, which comprised 12,520,214 Pins, under our copyright policies. We deactivated fewer than 1% of Pins manually and more than 99% with hybrid tools. We deactivated 714 accounts for violating our policy against repeat infringers. We received 514 appeals, found 374 to be complete and facially valid, and took appropriate action.

    We also received 25,438 requests through the Content Claiming Portal in Q3 2021. We processed 22,447 requests, which included deactivating 397 distinct images, comprising 136,258 Pins. We received 7 appeals for content deactivated in this manner, found 4 to be complete and facially valid, and took appropriate action.

    In Q4 2021, we received 21,199 submissions through our copyright reporting mechanisms. Of these submissions, 159 were determined to be requests unrelated to intellectual property and forwarded to the appropriate team at Pinterest. We determined that another 2,925 were spam and discarded them. We found 11,969 to be complete upon submission, and we processed all content identified in each notice. We sought information for an additional 5,473 submissions which we determined to be incomplete and ultimately processed 1,143 of those submissions. In total, we processed 13,112 notices and deactivated 35,966 distinct images, which comprised 10,835,478 Pins, under our copyright policies. We deactivated fewer than 1% of Pins manually and more than 99% with hybrid tools. We deactivated 292 accounts for violating our policy against repeat infringers. We received 523 appeals, found 419 to be complete and facially valid, and took appropriate action. 

    We also received 6,839 requests through the Content Claiming Portal in Q4 2021. We processed 6,161 requests, which included deactivating 450 distinct images, comprising 133,861 Pins. We received 35 appeals for content deactivated in this manner, found 14 to be complete and facially valid, and took appropriate action.

Trademark

  • Pinterest respects the trademark rights of others. Trademark owners can contact us through our trademark reporting mechanisms, such as our in-product reporting option, the trademark complaint form or by emailing us at trademark [at] pinterest.com, if they have concerns that someone may be using their trademark in an infringing way on our site. We review submissions we receive and take appropriate action, including removal of the content at issue from Pinterest.

    As with copyright, both our moderation process and the data reported here are not always directly comparable to our other Community guidelines enforcement. That’s why, for example, we’ve added metrics such as the number of notices we processed based on the initial submission and the number of times we sought more information, and omitted our metric showing the reach of deactivated Pins.

  • Content enforcement

    In Q3 2021, we received 4,217 submissions through our trademark reporting mechanisms. Of these submissions, we determined that 1,241 were spam and discarded them. We found 1,094 to be complete upon submission, and we processed all content identified in each notice. We sought information for an additional 1,521 submissions which we determined to be incomplete and ultimately processed 107 of those submissions. In total, we processed 1,201 notices and deactivated 29,557 distinct images, which comprised 36,400 Pins, under our trademark policies. We deactivated 100% of Pins manually. We deactivated 82 boards and 128 accounts under our trademark and related policies. We received 18 appeals, found 2 to be complete and facially valid, and took appropriate action.

    In Q4 2021, we received 3,776 submissions through our trademark reporting mechanisms. Of these submissions, we determined that 496 were spam and discarded them. We found 985 to be complete upon submission, and we processed all content identified in each notice. We sought information for an additional 2,112 submissions which we determined to be incomplete and ultimately processed 88 of those submissions. In total, we processed 1,073 notices and deactivated 25,366 distinct images, which comprised 33,181 Pins, under our trademark and related policies. We deactivated 100% of Pins manually. We deactivated 150 boards and 135 accounts under our trademark and related policies. We received 5 appeals, found 2 to be complete and facially valid, and took appropriate action.

Law enforcement and government agency requests

  • This section provides insight into the volume of information and deactivation requests received from law enforcement and government agencies. 

    Please note that this data encompasses requests from January to June 2021. For more information on how we respond to requests for account information, please refer to our Law Enforcement Guidelines.

  • Government information requests

    Pinterest receives legal requests from law enforcement and government agencies for Pinterest account information. We diligently review each request, and only produce data for those that meet the requirements of law and our policies. Our policy is to notify users of government requests for their information prior to disclosing, unless we are prohibited by law or in exceptional circumstances.

    United States

    Types Requests Some information produced Accounts identified Accounts notified**
    Subpoena 58 45 113 0
    Court order 2 2 2 1
    Warrant 21 17 26 1
    Other* 5 1 3 0
    Total 86 65 144 2

    * Law enforcement requests such as wiretap orders, pen registers, trap and trace, and emergency disclosure requests.
    ** The account owner was notified before production.

    International

    Country Types Requests Some information produced Accounts identified Accounts notified**
    Australia Other* 1 0 2 0
    Costa Rica Other* 2 0 0 0
    Germany Other* 5 0 3 0
    India Other* 2 0 2 0
    Ireland Other* 1 0 0 0
    Ireland Court order 1 1 1 1
    Israel Other* 1 1 1 0
    South Korea Other* 2 0 8 0
    Mexico Other* 1 0 1 0
    Switzerland Other* 1 0 1 0
    United Kingdom Other* 1 0 1 0
    Total   18 2 20 1

    * Law enforcement requests such as wiretap orders, pen registers, trap and trace, and emergency disclosure requests.
    ** The account owner was notified before production.

    National security requests*

    Time period No. of requests
    January to June 2021 0-249

    * Any national security letters and orders issued under the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act for user information.

  • Government content deactivation requests

    We sometimes receive requests from government agencies to deactivate content on Pinterest that may be illegal in their country and/or a violation of our Community guidelines

    We review the requests to determine if the content identified violates our Community guidelines. Our teams take action on violations, ranging from deactivating the content globally to restricting access to the content within the relevant country if it violates local law but does not violate our policies. 

    Pinterest received a total of 7,884 requests from January to June 2021. We deactivated content for 5,396 of those requests for violation of our Community Guidelines and restricted content on 1,034 requests. Content for the remaining 1,454 requests was inactive by the time it was reviewed in response to the government removal request. This can happen when, for instance, the content was deactivated in response to a user report.

    Country Requests Community Guidelines Deactivations* Local law deactivation** Inactive***
    France 1 1 0 0
    Germany 18 12 6 0
    India 36 2 34 0
    Japan 2 2 0 0
    South Korea 5,278 4,291 885 102
    Portugal 9 9 0 0
    Russia 2,402 1,041 63 1,298
    Turkey 138 38 46 54
    Total 7,884 5,396 1,034 1,454

    * Content violated our Community Guidelines and was removed from the platform.
    ** Content was reported by a government agency but did not violate our Community Guidelines and was restricted from appearing only in the country where the request originated, based on local legislation.
    *** Content was no longer available on the platform by the time it was reviewed in response to the government removal request.

Building towards a safer Internet

  • Creating the most positive space online doesn't happen by accident. It happens through proactive policy and product decisions. We have industry-leading positions on content safety that are informed by input and advice from outside experts, civil society and government. We also invest heavily in measures such as machine-learning technology to maintain a safe and positive space for the people on Pinterest. We’re proud of what we’re doing to keep Pinterest safe and to move the broader industry forwards. 

    Let’s create a safer, more inspired Internet – together.