Pinterest has a perv problem, according to a new report.
The online scrapbook’s content moderation filters have not only failed to remove inappropriate content — including sexualized photos of young girls, racist propaganda and conspiracy theories — but in some cases promoted it through its algorithm, an investigation from OneZero has found.
Pinterest has taken a different approach from sites like Twitter and Facebook when it comes to offensive posts, with the company opting to hide them rather than delete them entirely. Searches for banned or frequently reported terms see users hit a disclaimer telling them that their results might be blocked.
But OneZero reported that using alternative search methods — including Boolean search strings, which involve entering a special combination of keywords into a web browser — pulled up results for “sexualized images of young girls … some appearing to be children.”
The investigation also pulled up supposedly banned posts full of medical misinformation, including posts about the anti-vaccination movement and claims that 5G causes the coronavirus.
The site’s algorithm also promoted racist content, according to the report, suggesting posts about the Confederate flag after a user had viewed a board containing KKK imagery.
Pinterest in a statement said users should report any inappropriate content they find on the site.
“We rely on the reports from users to evolve our standards as well as using proactive tools to find and remove content,” the company said. “Additionally, we seek advice from outside experts on how we might improve our policies and enforcement.”
Shares of Pinterest were down 2.9 percent Friday morning, at $26.61.