Now, that we’ve gotten that out of the way. I’d like to share one of the many reasons I love Pinterest. No, it’s not all the amazing DIY projects I can look at, or the recipes I can be inspired by, or the wedding I can dream of… it’s the social networks ‘Terms of Service.” Say, what?
I’m serious. After reading many of the major social networks Terms and Conditions, I was often left blurry-eyed and confused. What were they trying to say? Do I have a reason to be concerned about where my content is being shared or tracked? Or should I be checking my privacy settings more often? Well, on Pinterest navigating the Terms of Service was pretty easy. Actually it was “more simply put” literally.
In the screenshots below, you’ll see how the social network includes call-out boxes next to each service term, providing a more user-friendly explanation. Hallelujah!
This is genius! Okay, maybe that’s giving Pinterest a little too much credit. But the truth of the matter is, why aren’t more social networks doing this? They really should be. In a matter of minutes, I was able to read through these terms and actually understand them.
That being said, it doesn’t mean all of the terms aren’t controversial. The social network came under fire a couple of years ago because of it’s copyright terms. In 2012, the social network decided to tweak it’s terms of service, as well as, made it easier for users to report copyright or trademark infringement. Now the policy reads as follows:
It still puts the onus on users to not pin copyrighted materials. Which in a sense goes against the purpose of the platform. I mean the goal is to share content and view it easily. We all know how easy it is to pin and re-pin content. I think one way that users can protect themselves, and how Pinterest can in turn protect itself, is to not initially pin copyrighted materials.
So, as a user I should not go onto a photographer’s website, find an image I like and take it upon myself to pin it on Pinterest for the world to see and re-pin time and time again. But, if that photographer has a business account with Pinterest and he/she pins their work, I am free to re-pin as I want. That seems reasonable, although I’m sure it doesn’t always happen.
Inevitably, new social platforms are going to have growing pains. Pinterest is not alone and won’t be the last to come under scrutiny, but similarly to Instagram after controversy erupted the company responded. Listening and responding to your audience is key to success for any social network.
My advice to anyone as addicted to Pinterest as I am: Stay away from pinning someone else’s work and you should be good to go. Happy Pinning!
Do Pinterest’s Terms of Service concern you? Which social network do you think is nailing it when it comes to Terms and Conditions (in terms of being user-friendly)?