This is going to be a different kind of blog post for me. As in: WARNING, RANT AHEAD!
When I first created a Pinterest account for my blog, I was added to several group boards. I was determined to get off on the right foot, so I read all of the rules for each board so that I could participate without breaking any of the rules.
I was surprised to find that one of the boards (my favorite one actually) had a rule posted, “No porn, porn will upset us.”
Cue my mental, “Excuse me, what?” This is Pinterest, I thought, there is no porn on Pinterest!
I had been using my own personal Pinterest account for quite a while and never run into porn. Racy DeviantArt maybe, but nothing anywhere near what I would consider porn or outright nudity. Granted, I wasn’t active on Pinterest with my personal account, but I still thought it was a strange thing to list as a rule since I had never seen any porn on Pinterest (or at all, actually).
I participated in the group boards, adding and deleting ones to fit my Pinterest account better. I ended up keeping the “No porn” board (actually called Blogs We Love, which I highly recommend), and it is the best group board I am on! Iterate and optimize, as my husband is fond of saying. This went on for a few weeks, with no porn in sight. I assumed that they must have had that rule due to someone’s Pinterest account getting hacked or something. I shrugged it off and went about my business pinning pretty home decor ideas and cute baby onesies.
Then it happened.
One day, after perusing my Twitter following to follow back all the accounts that weren’t spam, I stumbled upon a “cam girl” who was following me on Twitter. I reported the account, since the only thing on it was videos of lewd sexual acts and close up photos of types of genitals I didn’t even know existed. Knowing this wasn’t abnormal for Twitter, I’ve gotten into the habit of reporting the account and removing their ability to follow me.
In order to reset my sanity and purge the images from my mind, I hopped on over to good ol Pinterest! Nothing is better than going to Pinterest after a bad day and finding encouraging blog posts, new hair styles to try and inspirational quotes to ponder.
To my horror, I was greeted with a large image of a young woman and her genitals engaged in some traumatic event – I’m not going into detail, trust me, it was scary – on the left side of my Pinterest feed. Horrified, I glanced to see why I was being shown this.
Pinterest informed me that because I was interested in “photography”, I should check out this board called “photograph” and the pin from it. Apparently some man decided to make a board full of women caught in snapshots of various sex acts. The picture I had been shown was of a girl who I am 100% certain was not over the age of consent. My heart broke for that poor girl who had clearly been illegally solicited to engage in these acts for some middle-aged pedophile who can hide behind a computer so society won’t find out who he is and throw him in prison.
Speaking of the age of consent, anyone over the age of 13 can use Pinterest. That means, if you are pinning (or uploading) pornography, you are potentially exposing minors, who CANNOT consent, to pornography and lewd sex acts. If you need to be told why this is wrong, you need counseling.
Oh, and that doesn’t include people like me, who also cannot consent to seeing these images. Yes, I am over the age of consent, but when I signed up for Pinterest, it was under the impression that Pinterest does not allow pornography. I cannot control what shows up in my Pinterest feed beyond choosing my interests and people I follow. None of my interests include pornography, but because this man decided to use “photograph” as the name of his porn board, I was exposed to sexual graphic material.
There are PLENTY of places on the internet for you to find pornography that do not include Pinterest, so excuse me if I’m a little ticked off at the choice to drop smut in my feed.
Pinterest does not allow content pornographic content and will take it down if it is reported (I always report):
“Is sexually explicit or pornographic, exploits or presents minors in a sexual way, or promotes adult sexual services” – Pinterest’s Acceptable Use Policy
Pinning pornographic material on Pinterest is the equivalent of dropping your pants and grabbing some helpless bystander to shove your member at. It is indecent and if you did that in public, you’d be arrested. So what makes you think you can do the equivalent of it online in a place where there are countless innocent eyes that don’t deserve to be molested and sexual assaulted?
That isn’t even to mention the number of women who have been sexually assaulted that you might be exposing to this content. Do you know what it is like to be able to go to a place you thought was safe online where you could relax and know that if you visited it, you wouldn’t run across any material that would give you flash backs or trigger a panic attack? Because some jerk decided to pin pornography, or some “cam girl” decided to create a Pinterest board of her mutilating her hoo-ha for the sexual gain of some porn consumer, this is reality for some women.
Sex is supposed to be beautiful, in the right context. Porn on Pinterest is not the right context. The reality is, porn on Pinterest isn’t benign. It isn’t something that just effects you. It has the potential to impact every user on Pinterest in a damaging way. Including those underage, sexual assault survivors, and just people who don’t wish to and can’t consent to being visually assaulted but inappropriate images.
So please, don’t pin porn. And for heaven’s sake, if you are one of the many women building Pinterest boards filled with porn of yourself and supply these men with porn to pin, I have one thing to say to you….
GET YOUR LADY BITS OFF MY PINTEREST FEED!
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