Like most things, Pinterest comes with a set of rules to ensure its success and safe use for everyone. A few months ago, there was a lot of talk over Pinterest’s change in its Terms of Service. With a platform that was created around the idea of sharing other’s images, it can be difficult to keep track of copyright infringements, so the Terms of Service helps clarify some of that confusion. For those that can’t dedicate the time to dig through the Pinterest legalese, I’ve broken down a few important pieces to think about while using Pinterest.

  •  First of all, you can’t steal another companies’ name. When opening an account with a business name, you become

    Don’t be Lilly Pulitzer on Pinterest, if you aren’t authorized to be.

    authorized to use that name. However, if you are not an employee of the company, then that is against the rules. Basically, don’t create false accounts. Easy enough.

  •  In Pinterest’s list of things not to do, which can be found on the Acceptable Use page, it states that users are not allowed to download User Content or Pinterest Content to use on their own. This includes automated scripts, spiders, robots, etc.  It is also mentioned that it is against Pinterest’s policy to save and story personal information about Pinterest users. This rule was to prevent bots and automated programs to collect data throughout Pinterest about users and protect privacy in many cases.
  • Recently, spammers, who have thousands of pins and boards, have invaded Pinterest. In short, the easiest way to identify a spammer is if they have a seemingly normal pin with a completely unrelated caption accompanied with a shortened or otherwise indiscernible link.
  • One of the most controversial pieces in Pinterest’s Terms of Service is that the user must agree not to post User Content that is harmful.  From Pinterest: “…creates a risk of harm, loss, physical or mental injury, emotional distress, death, disability, disfigurement, or physical or mental illness to yourself, to any other person, or to any animal”. This was portion was created in part to address a pro-anorexia group within Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter. With the ease of posting pins, these social networks banned together in an attempt to “outlaw” the viral “thin-spo” (thin-spiration) craze. There have also been groups with racy images that have been banned from Pinterest. Rule of Thumb: keep the pins G/PG.
  •  One of the most important things to realize about Pinterest’s Terms of Service is that once you’re gone, you’re gone FOR LIFE.  So don’t get banned, because then you’ll have to hire a wedding planner.

There you have it! A few of the many Pinterest regulations broken down, but there are still a lot that have not been covered. Please check out Pinterest’s Terms of Service to make sure you knows exactly what is and isn’t allowed!

If you’re still not sure about this whole Pinterest thing, check out The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Pinterest Marketing written by Christine Martinez and Barbara Boyd and edited by Intrapromote’s Director of Social Media, Annalise Kaylor! This book will be available for sale on November 6.