This is a test.

Is this image offensive? Pinterest thinks so.


I wasn't planning on posting today. I've been spending every waking hour trying to learn as much as I can about Polish lingerie, public transportation, and available vegetarian food. It must be leaving me a bit on edge because when I saw this message in my email, I raged. With regards to blog stuff, I'm never angry or discontented. I love bras. I love writing about them. I love hearing what y'all have to say about them. Boom, done. With that in mind, let's look at the ridiculousness that started my disgust:

Round 1: Pinterest 

Hi Miss,
I'm sorry to say that we had to remove one of your pins from Pinterest. The reason is, it looks like the pin may have had nudity on it.
The pin was on your board "bOObs" and it originally came from http://www.theshoppedesigns.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/3-ACJ-Biddle.jpg. Could you please remove any other pins like this from your account?
Right now we don't allow nudity on Pinterest, because a lot of people use our site at work and around their families. We’ve outlined all this in our Help Center and acceptable use policy.
If we made a mistake and your pin didn't have nudity on it, we're really sorry. Please let us know so we can keep improving our process.
Thanks so much for using Pinterest.
Sincerely,
Ben & The Pinterest Team

**I get it - it's a mass email, but does it need to read like it was meant for baboons? After the initial patronizing, let's consider their excuse for this ban. They needed to remove it because "a lot of people use our site at work and around their families". Hahahahaha, this is almost too easy! If you're at work or around your families, I'm guessing you shouldn't be on Pinterest. Just like people shouldn't watch violent television at work or around their families. Just like people shouldn't smoke at work or around their families. Mature adults make individual choices to engage in these behaviors in a given environment every day. I doubt Pinterest needs to take responsibility for the location and company their users access their site in.**

Round 2: The Miss.

Dear Pinterest,

I have thoroughly enjoyed using your site for over a year. Pinterest helps me promote my blog posts and connect with my readers.

However, my blog's subject matter is rather unique as I write for a female audience that happens to be full busted. If you are unfamiliar with the term, it's an industry descriptor for a lingerie profile wherein a bra's band is average (28-38) and the cup size is above a D. As one of those women, I've spent years struggling with body image, physical confidence, and the psychological acceptance of my chest. I started Miss Underpinnings, my blog, to counteract the emotional damage and cultural intolerance I experienced growing up. Full busted women are often pictured in sexual scenarios or as visual props to sell a host of products to a male customer base.  It's a repetitive marketing message that's implemented an infinite number of times each day in this country. While the women pictured are seldom entirely nude, the message behind those images is offensive and derogatory. If you were a teenager and bustier than everyone else in your class, how would you feel about your body after continuously seeing a version of it displayed in this lascivious, objectified manner? I doubt you would feel empowered.

Through Miss Underpinnings, I hope to establish a site that promotes an entirely different image of busty women. Breasts do not have to exclusively act as sexual objects. Breasts are hilarious, unique, and terrible fun to dress. Sure, large breasts can be sexy, but that's not all they have to be. By banning every image of an exposed, semi-exposed, or slightly exposed breast, you're sending a message that bare or full breasts are wrong, unnatural, or immoral. I don't agree and I think there are many, many women using your site who would concur. I realize your policies are intended to manage the use and distribution of pornography on Pinterest. I fully support that mission and I would beg you to redefine your definition of nudity. As former Supreme Court Judge Potter Stewart observed, you'll know pornography when you see it. I trust that Pinterest is capable of a similarly nuanced, intuitive and informed approach. After all, your company removed my image in 2013 and he expressed his decision in an obscenity case in 1964.

If you are an incapable of this tolerance, I hope that you fully understand what your verdict implies. If you are allowing a minority population dictate the guidelines of acceptable use, you're also condoning an extremely liberal interpretation of your policies. I assume that my image was flagged as inappropriate by a user/group of users and Pinterest decided to remove it. If your system is as user-friendly as that method suggests, I would assume that you edit upon individual request. It's convenient because I've seen a few images I find offensive. I wouldn't want my coworkers or children to see them. You'll find the vile pins below:


Pin Source: Ivysays.com
Pin Source: ivillage.com.au

Pin Source: fanpop.com (but I'm thinking Arby's had a hand in it -- I made a pun!)



 Sincerely,
Cecily King 
Round 3: Pinterest Help Center 

Hi Underpinningsblog,
We manually review pins that are reported to us for nudity. We don't allow nudity—photos that show breasts, buttocks or genitalia—on Pinterest. More information on our policy is available here:
https://help.pinterest.com/entries/21047417
Was there an error?
- Pinners will receive an email notification if a pin is removed for violating our policies. We review a lot of pins, and it's possible that we'll sometimes make a mistake. If you didn't have a pin containing nudity on your board, we apologize for the inconvenience - our team is working hard to ensure only pins that violate our policy are removed.
- If you're writing because you received a notification with a link to an image that clearly did not appear to violate our policy - our team is currently reviewing several images that may have been removed in error. We apologize for any error, and we are working to allow these images to be pinned again soon.
...and then there's a lot more "blahblah-mass-repetitive-email-but-harsher-blahblahblah" stuff.

Is it just me? Has anyone else had this experience with Pinterest and was your pin truly obscene? Do you like to look at bulging bras selling cars or artistic nudes? Both? Neither? Let's talk it out:

11 Comments

  1. Ahhh this sure bugs the crap out of me. I've had something similar happen to me on flickr with a piece of art I made. I put up an illustration that included bare breasts, and Flickr ever-so kindly changed my account settings to "mature."

    Can we just get the frak over boobs already?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right!? Just. Boobs. That should go on a t-shirt somewhere.

      Delete
  2. They are full of shit! I used to have this great board called "beautiful" women. Lots of black and white, the ocassional nude/nipple showing.

    Twice did they ping me for it.

    Well. sometimes I click on the people who followed that board. Seriously. there were some "pinners" (dudes) and they had boards full of SPREAD EAGLE action...100% porn, no ifs whens or buts. Seriously. But a black and white photo with half a nipple goes noticed, yet a board full of porn does not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! My board's called "bOObs" and the intention was to provide images of breasts in a way that WASN'T explicit. To find body positive images, I had to wade through so, so much soft porn shots to find one usable pin. I'm sure your beautiful women board was the same. I feel it's really important for all women to see images of other women that aren't the archetype we see on MTV and billboards. Pinterest used to be a site I liked because it seemed so feminine, but they've lost their way on this one.

      Delete
  3. Same thing happened to me--in one case they removed a *painting.* They also removed a clothed woman from my husband's boards. And they wouldn't let me pin from a site because they said it contained nudity--there was no nudity on it, only photos from the Oscars. I think they are having problems. I also e-mailed them, and got a reply saying they would reinstate my pins, and the usual about not allowing nudity, etc. I was kind of impressed until I checked their Facebook page and saw yet more complaints about the same problems.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, I'm fascinated that so many of us have experienced this. Someone on Twitter suggested they weren't even looking at the images, they were simply removing them after a single complaint. That *would* work...until Focus on the Family got wind of it. If they ARE manually filtering these pins then I think they should fire the people from the 1880s they've brought back to do the job. Queen Victoria is getting a little too good at this.

      Delete
  4. This pisses me off! What kind of message does that send? I have full on top, highly placed close together breasts - I show more tit than that on a daily basis! And there is nothing I can do about it, other than wear something that resembles a sack. Would Pintrest remove any photos of me, because they show part of my breasts? Luckily I'm comfortable in myself but imagine how that could make someone feel. You might as well call them a freak and be done with it.

    That picture is hardly nudity anyway. It hints at a breast. It's no worse that any of the pins you posted, and far less mysogynistic. There is nothing wrong with it. If people don't want to see it, don't look, simple. It's not difficult.

    ReplyDelete
  5. That's why I use tumblr... I do have a Pinterest account but almost never log in anymore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like using tumblr too, except tumblr has more of a timeline feel and you need to go into the archives of your blog if you want to be able to see anything you posted from a long time ago.

      I wish there was a pinterest type site that allowed nudity and regular pinning side by side. Sex.com is explicitly aimed at...well, sex.

      Delete
  6. I have experienced the same frustration with Pinterest. I have a board called "Female Nudes" that is what I consider to be exceptionally beautiful photographs of female figure studies. I am a professional photographer and appreciate a well done image. I do not post pornography. Only beautiful, artistic images. Pinterest has regularly removed individual images with their standard email to follow, while all the while sending me emails of "Sites You Might Like" which are routinely loaded with nudity. Their haphazard way of enforcing their policy is extremely hypocritical. My board has numerous male and female followers, attesting to the popularity of the images I post, yet one complaint can cause an image to be pulled without reservation. I think Tumbler may be a better way to go as well.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Pinterest is a global site and it does not take into account this diversity...not everyone sees nudity as wrong. And of course there is a difference between nudity which is a celebration of the human form versus porn! Or does Pinterest prefer we donot pin pictures of beautiful people? Pretty soon Pinterest will be the site filled only with pictures of Mason Jars!

    ReplyDelete

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