As YouTube struggles with a pedophile scandal while rejiggering its algorithm to stop promoting conspiracy theories, and Facebook continues to be Facebook, you’d think that perhaps all social-media sites are just helpless in the face of the darkest parts of the human psyche. But Julia Carrie Wong of The Guardian reports that Pinterest has some clear guidelines and approaches to wipe out misinformation:
As pressure mounts on Facebook to explain its role in promoting anti-vaccine misinformation, Pinterest offers an example of a dramatically different approach to managing health misinformation on social media.
“We’re a place where people come to find inspiration, and there is nothing inspiring about harmful content,” said Ifeoma Ozoma, a public policy and social impact manager at Pinterest. “Our view on this is we’re not the platform for that.”
…In the case of vaccines, the fact that scientists and doctors are not producing a steady stream of new digital content about settled science has left a void for conspiracy theorists and fraudsters to fill with fear-mongering propaganda and misinformation.
Pinterest has broken search results and used image filtering to wipe out anti-vaccine misinformation on its service. It stands in contrast to Mark Zuckerberg’s continued mealy-mouthed statements about Facebook being a free market of ideas, in which ideas includes stuff like Holocaust denial.
Pinterest’s solution isn’t perfect, but at least they’re trying. Which is more than we’ve seen from Facebook and Google.