Pinterest is widely perceived as a non-political, bulletin-board style social network for crafters, cooks and collectors. While it certainly has plenty of those users, a whistleblower revealed left-leaning employees were suppressing conservative content. Pinterest employees are left-wing and just as willing to censor content — especially pro-life content — as its social media competitors. It was just sneakier about it.
A Pinterest software engineer started poking around after attending a lot of company meetings about the need to fight “misinformation.” He discovered certain pro-life content was being blocked quietly and that autocomplete was set up to prevent searches for “Bible verses” and similar content. Meanwhile you can find pins about Nazis, Antifa, actual crime scene photos and drawings of nudes, according to The Federalist.
He blew the whistle, telling Project Veritas Pinterest maintains a porn domain blocklist of urls, which prevents the creation of pins to those urls. The insider found it strange and concerning that the list included pro-life website Live Action, as well as conservative site PJMedia and right-leaning ZeroHedge. Eric Cochran remained anonymous, until Pinterest fired him (presumably for speaking out).
Rather than stop censoring the content after the story broke, Pinterest doubled down and even permanently suspended Live Action for “harmful misinformation.”
“I knew the public had to know that social media censorship is not in our imaginations, but real and carried out by radicals such as my former colleagues with an un-American agenda inside Silicon Valley,” Cochran said in December 2019. He was awarded for his courage speaking out against Pinterest.
- After Pinterest banned Live Action, several pro-life groups banded together to flood the site with Live Action content to fight the platform’s censorship.
- Pinterest permanently suspended pro-life group Live Action, claiming “harmful misinformation” violated its policies in June 2019. Live Action Director of External Affairs Alison Centofante reacted: “What exactly is Pinterest attempting to block? Inspirational messages to pregnant mothers, ultrasound images showing the science of prenatal development, and images saying women deserve better than abortion industry leader Planned Parenthood.”
- Eric Cochran was fired after blowing the whistle on Pinterest’s censorship of conservatives, Christianity and pro-lifers and suppression tactics including a sensitive terms list and “silent removing” of content.
- Project Veritas exposed Pinterest’s use of a porn domain blocklist to censor content including Live Action, PJ Media and ZeroHedge. The investigation exposed a Pinterest employee’s classification of Jewish conservative Ben Shapiro as a “white supremacist,” which led to mentions of him speaking about Islam to end up on the “sensitive terms” list.