Pinterest is loosening up a little, and it's starting with its nudity policy. The site's acceptable use policy asks that users cannot post anything that "is sexually explicit or contains nudity, partial nudity or pornography," but told the Financial Times on Wednesday that it plans to allow more artistic nudity on the site after complaints from artists and photographers.
“Pinterest is about expressing your passions and people are passionate about art and that may include nudes,” Pinterest told the Financial Times. “So we’re going to try to accommodate that.”
Social media sites tend to be responsive to complaints about nudity. Other sites that have banned nudity all together have taken heat from artists and art lovers. Facebook, for example, has taken down countless photos featuring nudity over the years. Breastfeeding advocates have also been upset over Facebook's policies. Today, Facebook's community standards page contains the following statement about nudity:
We also impose limitations on the display of nudity. We aspire to respect people’s right to share content of personal importance, whether those are photos of a sculpture like Michelangelo's David or family photos of a child breastfeeding.
But the line between art and pornography is notoriously hard to draw. Even though Facebook and Pinterest have banned pornography, there is only so much the sites' monitors can do to combat it. All it takes is a cursory search on any of these sites to find blatantly pornographic imagery. This is the Internet, after all.
Maybe there's not much to be done, and more sites should take after Tumblr and leave the porn alone. Tumblr has long condoned porn and right after it was purchased by Yahoo, CEO Marissa Mayer suggested that her company wasn't going to touch the many pornographic Tumblogs on its acquisition.