I’ve been on Pinterest since day 1, but for some reason my entire feed is full of Cats!!! How did this happen?….ummmm. However, I also have a board for Caravans, for Mad Men (the T.V show) 1950’s fashion and Geek Chic collectibles. But weirdly enough the cats reign! (see pic above) Not surprising for this ole cat lady. I do love Pinterest and find it’s a fantastic way to search for ideas for house renovations, holidays, new hairstyles and ….cats.
What Is Pinterest?
A search engine social media platform for anything that you want to collect. It is literally a digital pin board where users can share things that others can also “Pin” or collect. Pinterest started out as a very arty crafty platform for folks to share ideas around quilting, knitting and sharing decorating ideas. It’s now much more than that. As all new online platforms grow in user size then naturally the marketers and adult content purveyors also move in. There are some copyright issues around Pinterest, and you shouldn’t just “Pin” any photo you find online unless you see permission to do so.
How Does It Work?
Images and video can be found on Pinterest through following others, or following their Pin boards. You can also find content through the Pinterest search option. Pins can be shared across to other social media platforms like Facebook, or the item can be clicked to find out more about the picture/video, or to go to the website where the photo/video is hosted, leading to that article being for safe on a website or eBay, or an article written about it. You can then also “pin” the photo or video/gif to your own board to collect it where it can also be shared on to your followers.
You can also set up private pin boards, so for instance if you were gathering gift ideas for a family member or arranging a surprise holiday, you could collect “pins” that won’t be able to be seen by any of your followers on Pinterest.
Are Kids Using It?
I’m finding anecdotally more and more teens are signing up for Pinterest, particularly girls are using it. To collect hairstyle ideas, nail art ideas, or for following their favourite celebrities or any other thing they are into. They might be into Anime or cartoons, or art. And Pinterest is a really fun way to collect your favorite images, gifs (moving images) or articles. You can find photos and videos of your favourites YouTube stars, or bloggers that you follow. It’s really like the old fashioned fan pin boards that we had as teens. With one big difference! The photos can contain adult content.
There is very adult content on Pinterest like raunchy adult photos and videos. This content is easily found if you search for the usual search keywords. There are no adult content filters that will work within Pinterest, so like other adult social media sites, any filters you put on the modem or on digital devices to block your child from seeing adult content won’t work on the Pinterest site. If your child searches or comes across this content there is no way to block it, you can certainly use the report tools to report any content that is against the Pinterest terms of service, but when I went looking for it, there was a lot of it on there. So Pinterest are not preventing this type of content from being posted.
You child or young teen could also be followed by strangers if they don’t set the privacy settings on their Pin boards.
Posting Their Own Content:
Your Teen could be posting their own personal photos on Pinterest which can then be shared on to other social media or “Pinned” to someone else’s board if they want.
Pinterest is not one of the social media platforms where I have heard about a lot of problems that involve kids or teens. I haven’t seen or heard about bullying on it, or seen many abusive type of comments at all. Some of the pictures pinned on Pinterest can lead to Tumblr which does have a bad reputation for adult content and bullying though. Many of the adult photos link directly to a Tumblr account or other photo hosting platforms, or YouTube.
It’s really important that users go through all the privacy settings for Pinterest, to decide how much privacy they require. For younger users it’s important that they approve and know personally all followers. It’s also important that they know how to set boards to private for more personal pins.
You can create “Secret Boards” Where no one can see your activity on that board, or you can add other users to that board to share that board privately with others, like a secret group. You could then create a private environment away from comments or other people. This is a great idea for friends only sharing.
Make sure your Teens make up a unique user name for Pinterest. One that is unlike their real name, so that they are not easily found within Pinterest, it can protect them from someone who might be harassing them. Be sure they hide their user name from public search engines like Bing and Google, (see below)
If you don’t want a board full of Cats! …..watch what you “heart” or share or you’ll end up like me! Consumed by fluffy distractions every time I log in!
See privacy Settings Below. Click on your profile
Click the cog wheel – Account settings
Scroll down to Account Basics, and set “Search Privacy” To Yes, to hide your name from public search engines.
Set Notifications To Only People You Follow: Scroll down to Notification
To block or report another user:
To create a Secret Board:
If you want to share it, add the name of the user in the “Who Can Add Pins” area
Leonie Presents Cyber Safety Talks for schools, business, and community groups.