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 and enforcing 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 behaviors 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 like machine learning technology to fight policy-violating content on Pinterest and to work with outside experts and organizations to inform our policies and content moderation practices.

    We started publishing a biannual transparency report in 2013, and expanded it starting with Q4 2020 to include more 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. It also includes insight into the volume of information and deactivation requests we received from law enforcement and government agencies. This report, which encompasses more than 450 individual data points, covers the second half of 2021, from July through December 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 to keep Pinterest a more positive and inspiring place online—for example, we prioritize mental health with features like our compassionate search function, and help protect users under our longstanding 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

    We’ve continued to invest in improvements to provide greater insight into our efforts, and in this transparency report, we’ve added a new section on Intellectual Property policies enforcement. It covers Copyright and Trademark, including information on the actions we take based on information submitted through our Content Claiming Portal, a tool that enables rightsholders to claim their content and decide if and how it appears on Pinterest.

    We are also introducing reporting on a uniquely harmful class of online content, child sexual exploitation (CSE). CSE is one of the most serious violations of our content policies, and we do not tolerate the sexualization of minors on Pinterest.

    These follow additions we made in our last report, covering Q1 and Q2 2021, to include a new metric on how we deactivate Pins, whether that’s through automated tools, manual review or a hybrid approach that combines elements of both. 

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

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 second half of 2021.

  • Launching Hair pattern search

    Community wellbeing is improved when the diversity of our audience is reflected online. In August 2021, we introduced our latest advancement in inclusive beauty search with the rollout of hair pattern search, a first-of-its-kind technology, created with Black, Brown and Latinx Pinners in mind, that empowers users to search for hair inspiration across hair types.

    Through computer vision-powered object detection, hair pattern search enables Pinners to refine hair searches by six different hair patterns: protective, coily, curly, wavy, straight and shaved/bald.

    This new technology builds on Pinterest’s industry-first inclusive product feature skin tone ranges, first launched in 2018. It not only marks a major step forward for inclusivity in tech, but also responds to the millions of Pinners who are looking for an easier way to find the most relevant hair inspiration for their purposes.

  • Embracing body acceptance

    Around the world, people of all ages are facing challenges related to body image and mental health, particularly as we navigate the phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), there’s been a steep rise in unhealthy eating habits and eating disorders in young people since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

    Pinterest is the place people come for inspiration to create a life they love. It’s where everyone belongs—regardless of body shape or size. At Pinterest, we strive to create a culture where healthy living and healthy body image can thrive, which is why beginning July 1st, 2021 we updated our ad policies to prohibit all ads with weight loss language and imagery. We're empowering Pinners to plan the next season and beyond without weight loss ads, so they can focus on what matters most.

    This stance makes Pinterest the only major platform to prohibit all weight loss ads. It’s an expansion of our ad policies that have long prohibited body shaming and dangerous weight loss products or claims. We encourage others in the industry to do the same and acknowledge, once and for all, that there's no such thing as one-size-fits-all. 

    This policy change was developed with the guidance and advice of NEDA. Unchanged are our policies against harassment and bullying: non-ad content that body-shames is and continues to be prohibited by our policies, and users who engage in these practices may have their accounts terminated.

Community guidelines enforcement

  • Pinterest’s Community guidelines are designed to support our mission of inspiration. They govern what we do and don't 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 behaviors 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 Pins: organic Pins 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 than 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 through 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 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 violative content and other factors such as the complexity of evaluation. We continue to iterate and evolve our tools and expect ongoing improvements going forward.

  • Reach of Pins deactivated for violating policy

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

    For example, 76% of Pins that we deactivated for medical misinformation in Q4 were never seen by users in that reporting period—even with more than 400 million people visiting Pinterest per 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 hitting “Report Pin.” Once we confirm that an item is not fit for distribution on Pinterest under our Community guidelines and take appropriate action, we consider the report an actioned user report.

    The total number of actioned user reports 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 Q3.

  • Boards deactivated

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

    When a board is deactivated for violating policy, all 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 for violating our policies. When an account is deactivated, all of their Pins and boards are also deactivated. That means that if you search for them or click on an old link to their profile, that profile won’t show up anymore. Their 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 appeals process to have their accounts reinstated. We review appeal requests and grant the appeal if we determine 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 second half of 2021, from July to December 2021. We’ve split that time into two reporting periods: Q3 and Q4. 

    Q3 covers the third quarter of the year, from July through September, while Q4 covers the fourth quarter of the year, from October through December. Sometimes we also refer to Q1 (January to March) or Q2 (April to June) when we’re talking about quarter-over-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 violating our adult content policy. Since then, we’ve continued to see declines in actioned user reports—one of our key indicators of user experience—that we attribute to this effort. In fact, looking at actioned user reports per monthly active user, there was a 25% decrease in reports that resulted in a deactivated Pin in Q4 2021 compared to Q4 2020.

    Our content policies and moderation practices are always evolving to better keep our platform safe for all users. So far, we’ve primarily 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 violations.

  • Content enforcement

    Reach* of Pins deactivated for adult content

      Q3 2021 Q4 2021
    Seen by 0 people 82% 88%
    Seen by 1-10 people 14% 10%
    Seen by 10-100 people 2% 2%
    Seen by 100+ people 1% 0.6%

    * 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 Q3 2021, we deactivated 1,279,861 distinct images, which comprised 42,968,305 Pins, for violating this policy. Of these Pins, 82% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated fewer than 1% manually and more than 99% with hybrid tools. We actioned 93,807 user reports that resulted in a Pin deactivated for violating this policy. We also deactivated 61,114 boards and 8,653 accounts. We received 1,923 account appeals and reinstated 1,119 accounts.

    In Q4 2021, we deactivated 1,108,006 distinct images, which comprised 30,695,545 Pins, for violating this policy. Of these Pins, 88% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated fewer than 1% manually and more than 99% with hybrid tools. We actioned 77,329 user reports that resulted in a Pin deactivated for violating this policy. We also deactivated 44,155 boards and 6,769 accounts for violating this policy. We received 1,495 account appeals and reinstated 774 accounts.

Adult sexual services

  • We prohibit adult sexual services on Pinterest. Adult sexual services may involve commercial sex work and sexual or physical exploitation or trafficking, such as escort services, prostitution, sex cams, or sex- or nudity-for-money services.

    Recent trends

    In Q4 2021, we made changes to the tools we use to deactivate this type of content. As a result of these improvements, content that previously would have been deactivated under our adult content policy is now deactivated under our adult sexual services policy. The increase in the portion of Pins deactivated with hybrid tools, as well as the increase in Pins deactivated, reflect these changes.

  • Content enforcement

    Reach of Pins deactivated for adult sexual services

      Q3 2021 Q4 2021
    Seen by 0 people 0.4% 89%
    Seen by 1-10 people 47% 9%
    Seen by 10-100 people 29% 2%
    Seen by 100+ people 24% 0.6%

     

    In Q3 2021, we deactivated 222 distinct images, which comprised 225 Pins, for violating this policy. Of these Pins, 76% were seen by fewer than 100 users in this reporting period. We deactivated 100% of Pins manually. We actioned 266 user reports that resulted in a Pin deactivated for violating this policy. We also deactivated 151 boards and 152 accounts. We received 13 account appeals and reinstated 0 accounts.

    In Q4 2021, we deactivated 1,610 distinct images, which comprised 26,703 Pins, for violating this policy. Of these Pins, 89% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated fewer than 1% manually and more than 99% with hybrid tools. We actioned 162 user reports that resulted in a Pin deactivated for violating this policy. We also deactivated 120 boards and 121 accounts for violating this policy. We received 16 account appeals and reinstated 1 account.

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

  • Our civic misinformation 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

    We try to be very mindful about when we use hybrid tools and—more importantly—how to 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 Q4 2021, almost half of Pins deactivated for violating our civic misinformation policy were the result of the hybrid deactivation of a misclassified image. We reactivated those Pins once we spotted the error and have made improvements to our processes to minimize the chances that it will happen again.

    We’ve included those false positives in the Q4 enforcement data, but we excluded them from the reach metric for this policy in an effort to provide more accurate insight into the number of users who saw a Pin that actually violates this policy before the Pin was deactivated. For Q4, more than 99% of such Pins were never seen by people in that reporting period.

  • Content enforcement

    Reach of Pins deactivated for civic misinformation

      Q3 2021 Q4 2021
    Seen by 0 people 10% 99.5%
    Seen by 1-10 people 78% 0.4%
    Seen by 10-100 people 7% 0.06%
    Seen by 100+ people 5% 0.04%

     

    In Q3 2021, we deactivated 743 distinct images, which comprised 889 Pins, for violating this policy. Of these Pins, 95% were seen by fewer than 100 users in this reporting period. We deactivated 87% of Pins manually and 13% with hybrid tools. We actioned 392 user reports that resulted in a Pin deactivated for violating this policy. We also deactivated 92 boards and 8 accounts. We received 3 account appeals and reinstated 3 accounts.

    In Q4 2021, we deactivated 779 distinct images, which comprised 48,741 Pins, for violating this policy. We later determined that hybrid deactivations based on one of these Pins, which had been deactivated for reasons other than the image it showed, resulted in the incorrect deactivation of its almost 24,000 machine-identified matching Pins. Of the Pins we believe were correctly deactivated, more than 99% 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 224 user reports that resulted in a Pin deactivated for violating this policy. We also deactivated 23 boards and 0 accounts for violating this policy. We received 1 account appeal and reinstated 1 account.

Conspiracy theories

  • Our conspiracy theories 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 organizations into targets of harassment or physical violence, such as hate-based conspiracy theories and misinformation about mass atrocities.

    Recent trends

    There was a relative decrease in the number of Pins deactivated for violating our conspiracy theory policy in Q3 and Q4 2021, following a sweeping cleanup performed in Q2.

  • Content enforcement

    Reach of Pins deactivated for conspiracy theories

      Q3 2021 Q4 2021
    Seen by 0 people 93% 89%
    Seen by 1-10 people 6% 8%
    Seen by 10-100 people 0.3% 1%
    Seen by 100+ people 0.1% 2%

     

    In Q3 2021, we deactivated 8,374 distinct images, which comprised 536,455 Pins, for violating this policy. Of these Pins, 93% 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 456 user reports that resulted in a Pin deactivated for violating this policy. We also deactivated 429 boards and 39 accounts. We received 19 account appeals and reinstated 4 accounts.

    In Q4 2021, we deactivated 2,411 distinct images, which comprised 4,507 Pins, for violating this policy. Of these Pins, 89% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated 90% manually and 10% with hybrid tools. We actioned 394 user reports that resulted in a Pin deactivated for violating this policy. We also deactivated 237 boards and 11 accounts for violating this policy. We received 13 account appeals and reinstated 2 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

    There was a relative decrease in the number of Pins deactivated for violating our dangerous goods and activities policy in Q3 and Q4 2021, following a sweeping cleanup performed across the platform for such content in Q1 and Q2 of that year. That effort, applied to organic Pins and not promoted ads or products, generated a temporary spike in Pins deactivated during that time period.

  • Content enforcement

    Reach of Pins deactivated for dangerous goods and activities

      Q3 2021 Q4 2021
    Seen by 0 people 95% 76%
    Seen by 1-10 people 4% 16%
    Seen by 10-100 people 0.9% 5%
    Seen by 100+ people 0.3% 3%

     

    In Q3 2021, we deactivated 44,277 distinct images, which comprised 1,017,444 Pins, for violating this policy. Of these Pins, 95% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated 2% manually, fewer than 1% automatically and 98% with hybrid tools. We actioned 1,780 user reports that resulted in a Pin deactivated for violating this policy. We also deactivated 712 boards and 223 accounts. We received 14 account appeals and reinstated 3 accounts.

    In Q4 2021, we deactivated 14,736 distinct images, which comprised 31,186 Pins, for violating this policy. Of these Pins, 97% were seen by fewer than 100 users in this reporting period. We deactivated 41% of Pins manually, 14% automatically and 45% with hybrid tools. We actioned 1,367 user reports that resulted in a Pin deactivated for violating this policy. We also deactivated 591 boards and 177 accounts for violating this policy. We received 4 account appeals and reinstated 1 account.

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

    In Q4 2021, we saw a relative decrease in Pins deactivated compared to Q3 2021. Of the Pins we deactivated in Q3 2021, 89% were seen by fewer than 100 users in that reporting period.

  • Content enforcement

    Reach of Pins deactivated for graphic violence and threats

      Q3 2021 Q4 2021
    Seen by 0 people 52% 59%
    Seen by 1-10 people 29% 13%
    Seen by 10-100 people 8% 10%
    Seen by 100+ people 11% 19%

     

    In Q3 2021, we deactivated 4,026 distinct images, which comprised 18,501 Pins, for violating this policy. Of these Pins, 89% were seen by fewer than 100 users in this reporting period. We deactivated 48% of Pins manually and 53% with hybrid tools. We actioned 1,806 user reports that resulted in a Pin deactivated for violating this policy. We also deactivated 1,085 boards and 106 accounts. We received 33 account appeals and reinstated 18 accounts.

    In Q4 2021, we deactivated 3,435 distinct images, which comprised 6,085 Pins, for violating this policy. Of these Pins, 81% were seen by fewer than 100 users in this reporting period. We deactivated 62% of Pins manually and 38% with hybrid tools. We actioned 1,714 user reports that resulted in a Pin deactivated for violating this policy. We also deactivated 769 boards and 89 accounts for violating this policy. We received 19 account appeals and reinstated 3 accounts.

Harassment and criticism

  • Pinterest is not a place for harassment and criticism, and we prohibit content that insults, hurts or antagonizes 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 deactivated fewer Pins for violating this policy in Q4 2021 than in Q3 2021. Of the Pins we deactivated in Q3, 86% were never seen by users in this reporting period.

  • Content enforcement

    Reach of Pins deactivated for harassment and criticism

      Q3 2021 Q4 2021
    Seen by 0 people 86% 69%
    Seen by 1-10 people 12% 26%
    Seen by 10-100 people 2% 3%
    Seen by 100+ people 1% 2%

     

    In Q3 2021, we deactivated 4,257 distinct images, which comprised 244,688 Pins, for violating 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 2,967 user reports that resulted in a Pin deactivated for violating this policy. We also deactivated 851 boards and 271 accounts. We received 22 account appeals and reinstated 13 accounts.

    In Q4 2021, we deactivated 4,318 distinct images, which comprised 210,880 Pins, for violating this policy. Of these Pins, 98% were seen by fewer than 100 users in this reporting period. We deactivated 2% of Pins manually and 98% with hybrid tools. We actioned 2,564 user reports that resulted in a Pin deactivated for violating this policy. We also deactivated 803 boards and 151 accounts for violating this policy. We received 28 account appeals and reinstated 15 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 generalizations, as well as support for hate groups and people promoting hateful activities.

    Recent trends

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

    We performed a sweeping cleanup across the platform for hateful activities content in Q4 2021, leading to a temporary spike in Pins deactivated. This rise is not due to any known sustained increase of violative content. Of the Pins we deactivated in Q4, 99% were seen by fewer than 100 users in that reporting period.

  • Content enforcement

    Reach of Pins deactivated for hateful activities

      Q3 2021 Q4 2021
    Seen by 0 people 56% 97%
    Seen by 1-10 people 19% 0.8%
    Seen by 10-100 people 11% 0.7%
    Seen by 100+ people 14% 1%

     

    In Q3 2021, we deactivated 3,482 distinct images, which comprised 9,805 Pins, for violating this policy. Of these Pins, 86% were seen by fewer than 100 users in this reporting period. We deactivated 46% of Pins manually and 54% with hybrid tools. We actioned 936 user reports that resulted in a Pin deactivated for violating this policy. We also deactivated 1,758 boards and 107 accounts. We received 35 account appeals and reinstated 21 accounts.

    In Q4 2021, we deactivated 3,848 distinct images, which comprised 107,295 Pins, for violating this policy. Of these Pins, 97% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated 5% of Pins manually and 95% with hybrid tools. We actioned 1,074 user reports that resulted in a Pin deactivated for violating this policy. We also deactivated 409 boards and 36 accounts for violating this policy. We received 10 account appeals and reinstated 5 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 recognized institutions, including the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization, to help us determine if content violates these guidelines.

    Recent trends

    Pinterest is deeply committed to combating health misinformation. We continue to engage with public health experts to stay on top of trends and get feedback on our policy and enforcement approaches for topics such as medical misinformation. As COVID-19 vaccines continue to be made available around the world, we saw a relative increase in the number of Pins deactivated in Q3 2021, and 99% of these Pins were seen by fewer than 100 users in that reporting period.

  • Content enforcement

    Reach of Pins deactivated for medical misinformation

      Q3 2021 Q4 2021
    Seen by 0 people 75% 76%
    Seen by 1-10 people 20% 9%
    Seen by 10-100 people 4% 5%
    Seen by 100+ people 1% 9%

    In Q3 2021, we deactivated 4,237 distinct images, which comprised 138,491 Pins, for violating this policy. Of these Pins, 75% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated 2% of Pins automatically, 25% manually and 74% with hybrid tools. We also deactivated 383 boards and 10 accounts. We received 2 account appeals and reinstated 0 accounts.

    In Q4 2021, we deactivated 3,564 distinct images, which comprised 6,370 Pins, for violating this policy. Of these Pins, 76% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated 72% of Pins automatically, 28% manually and fewer than 1% with hybrid tools. We also deactivated 491 boards and 14 accounts for violating this policy. We received 4 account appeals and reinstated 3 accounts.

Self-injury and harmful behavior

  • Combating self-harm is a priority for us as we strive to ensure Pinterest plays a positive role in people’s lives. Content that displays, rationalizes or encourages suicide, self-injury, 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 Samaritans, an organization 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. 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 Q3 and Q4 2021, 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

    We performed a sweeping cleanup across the platform for self-injury and harmful behavior content in Q4 2021, leading to a temporary spike in Pin deactivated. This rise is not due to any known sustained increase of violative content. Of the Pins we deactivated in Q4, 97% were never seen by users in that reporting period.

  • Content enforcement

    Reach of Pins deactivated for self-injury and harmful behavior

      Q3 2021 Q4 2021
    Seen by 0 people 83% 97%
    Seen by 1-10 people 12% 2%
    Seen by 10-100 people 3% 0.3%
    Seen by 100+ people 2% 0.3%

     

    In Q3 2021, we deactivated 4,156 distinct images, which comprised 85,328 Pins, for violating this policy. Of these Pins, 83% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated 5% of Pins manually and 95% with hybrid tools. We actioned 1,667 user reports that resulted in a Pin deactivated for violating this policy. We also deactivated 575 boards and 37 accounts. We received 10 account appeals and reinstated 9 accounts.

    In Q4 2021, we deactivated 16,761 distinct images, which comprised 395,682 Pins, for violating this policy. Of these Pins, 97% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated 1% of Pins manually and 99% with hybrid tools. We actioned 1,028 user reports that resulted in a Pin deactivated for violating this policy. We also deactivated 82,518 boards and 1,047 accounts for violating this policy. We received 166 account appeals and reinstated 133 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 modeling techniques but 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-to-quarter, especially after a large attack.

  • Content enforcement

    Reach of Pins deactivated for spam

      Q3 2021 Q4 2021
    Seen by 0 people 63% 75%
    Seen by 1-10 people 24% 19%
    Seen by 10-100 people 9% 4%
    Seen by 100+ people 4% 1%

     

    In Q3 2021, we deactivated 81,753 distinct images, which comprised 233,303 Pins, for violating this policy. Of these Pins, 63% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated fewer than 1% of Pins manually and more than 99% automatically. We also deactivated 2,435,683 accounts for violating this policy. We received 101,832 account appeals and reinstated 77,936 accounts.

    In Q4 2021, we deactivated 61,834 distinct images, which comprised 121,639 Pins, for violating this policy. Of these Pins, 75% were never seen by users in this reporting period. We deactivated fewer than 1% of Pins manually and more than 99% automatically. We also deactivated 1,736,742 accounts for violating this policy. We received 103,257 account appeals and reinstated 79,054 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 in the second half of 2021, from July through December 2021. For more information on how we respond to requests for account information, 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 48 39 137 5
    Court Order 4 4 4 0
    Warrant 24 22 122 3
    Other* 5 2 2 0
    Total 81 67 265 8

    * 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**
    Argentina Other* 1 0 0 0
    Austria Other* 1 0 0 0
    Brazil Other* 3 0 0 0
    Germany Other* 7 2 2 0
    India Other* 8 0 0 0
    Italy Other* 1 0 0 0
    South Korea Other* 1 0 0 0
    Spain Other* 1 0 0 0
    United Kingdom Other* 1 0 0 0
    Total   24 2 2 0

    * 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
    July through December 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 agents 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 6,618 requests from July to December 2021. We deactivated content for 4,905 of those requests for violating our Community guidelines and restricted content on 1,443 requests. Content for 270 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 prior to Pinterest receiving the government removal request.

    Country Requests Community Guidelines Deactivations* Local Law Deactivation** Inactive***
    Brazil 1 0 1 0
    Germany 10 10 0 0
    India 11 0 7 4
    Kazakhstan 1 0 1 0
    South Korea 5,939 4,462 1,343 134
    Pakistan 3 0 0 3
    Qatar 1 1 0 0
    Russia 608 408 77 123
    Turkey 43 23 14 6
    United Kingdom 1 1 0 0
    Total 6,618 4,905 1,443 270

    * 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 law.
    *** Content was no longer available on the platform by the time it was reviewed in response to the government removal request.

Building toward 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 inputs and advice from outside experts, civil society and government. We also invest heavily in measures like 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 forward. 

    Let’s create a safer, more inspired internet, together.