As influencer marketing skyrockets in importance, social media companies have taken steps to make their platforms more attractive to this new wave of advertising. One way of making platforms attractive to both users and creators is to keep the platforms free of negativity. Negativity on social media has been a major reason for users to abandon sites and can make creators hesitant to use platforms where they do not feel supported. Additionally, 2020 saw many headlines regarding misinformation, hate-speech, and lack of moderation. As advertisers boycotted platforms and calls for action grew louder, social media platforms began to look for ways to promote themselves as socially conscious and safe. One of Pinterest’s answers to these calls is the “Creator Code.” Pinterest announced this code as an effort to help its platform be a positive and inspiring place.
The Code is a simple set of terms to which creators must agree to before using Story Pins, Pinterest’s central creator tool. Under the Code, creators must agree to:
- Be Kind: Ensure Content doesn’t insult or put others down
- Check My Facts: Make sure information is accurate and factual
- Be Aware of Triggers: Practice discretion when it comes to visually sensitive content
- Practice Inclusion: Never intentionally exclude certain groups or communities
- Do No Harm: Make sure any call to action or challenge is safe
Pinterest pointed out that these guidelines mesh with Pinterest’s existing policies, and were implemented partly to make creators feel accountable for keeping Pinterest safe and positive. Pinterest stated it will also play a major role in enforcing its new guidelines, through a combination of human and automated review of posts.
Creators have also been given new tools to curate their pages and posts. Pinterest has implemented “Positivity Reminders” to remind creators of the guidelines before posting, new spam prevention signals which uses machine learning to detect and remove negative comments, and the ability for creators to feature three comments on posts to highlight positivity. Creators now also have the ability to remove negative comments made by other users – something they once relied on Pinterest to do for them.
Pinterest has also started the Creator Fund program, which was developed to elevate creators from underrepresented communities. Under the program creators from diverse backgrounds are given training, creative strategy consulting, and a budget for content creation and ad credits.
In addition to fostering a community which is inspiring to content creators, initiatives like the ones Pinterest has taken on can create atmospheres in which advertisers feel comfortable promoting their products. As consumers demand that brands become more socially conscious (including ESG initiatives) – platforms that rely on advertising revenue can respond by making their sites more positive and inclusive. Initiatives like the Creator Code meet this goal by helping independent content creators comply with the site rules and allow the site to indirectly and preemptively control what gets posted. Pinterest is not the first to introduce this type of initiative, but the recent adoption makes it clear that social media companies, advertisers, influencers, and users all find value in positive platforms.
For more information regarding social media influencers, please see some of our past posts including:
- FTC, celebrity influencers, and health claims
- Pixels + Social Media Influencers – Authenticity = Virtual Influencers
- Social media influencers and FTC disclosures
- Social media influencers and “scraping”
- Social media influencers – to “like” or not to “like?”
Special thanks to Frank Joranko for assisting with the drafting of this post.