Terms of service is one of those things that every social media service has and many users never read. If you do take the time to read them, however, you learn the horrifying truth that most Web sites don’t care about you, just your content. They even go so far as to say they own you and your content for promotional and advertising purposes. That’s why it’s a breath of fresh air to see Pinterest‘s updated terms of service to be so pro-consumer.
The Pinterest team let the world know in a blog post that they have updated their terms of service now that they have become the biggest thing since Twitter, even surpassing the micro-blogging site in terms of referrals. The new terms of service, according to the team, are “easier to understand and better reflect the direction our company is headed in the future.” If the new terms are any indication, that future is going to be bright.
The first, and most important, change to their terms of service is that Pinterest can no longer sell your content. The original terms of service gave them this right and many social media sites still adhere to this term. Pinterest has removed this from their terms so users have full control over their content.
The second new term is a bit more murky but it’s understandable. Pinterest will no longer allow users to post images that encourage self-harm or self-abuse. I wasn’t aware of people using the service for this reason, but it’s never cool to encourage such actions. While some may call it self-expression, I think we can all agree that we don’t need any more instruction manuals on slitting one’s own wrists.
In what previously a problem for the site, they now have simpler and better tools for reporting copyright violations. This should keep the copyright hounds at bay as Getty Images might start demanding Pinterest license its content for the users who post their images on the site.
Finally, the language in the terms of service now reflects their intention to create a Pinterest API and private pinboards. I don’t even want to know what a private pinboard could be used for, but I’m sure plenty of Pinterest fanatics are welcoming the idea.
If you want to read the entirety of the new terms of service, you can do so on their official Web site. I highly recommend it not just for the knowledge of what the fine print says, but also for a look at what a good terms of service should be.