Pinterest has announced that it’s collaborating with the Boston Children’s Hospital to join a new ‘Inspired Internet Pledge’, which will see Pinterest, and other tech companies, commit to various measures designed to better protect young people that use their apps.
The pledge is designed to address negative mental health impacts stemming from social media use.
As explained by Pinterest:
“Around the world teens are experiencing a mental health crisis and the role social media platforms play is being closely examined. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), youth mental health has continued to worsen, with large increases in widespread reports of harmful experiences among teen girls. Nearly 3 in 5 US teen girls felt persistently sad or hopeless in 2021, representing a ~60% increase and the highest level reported over the past decade.”
And while there are counter studies which also highlight the positives of social media connection, the prevailing weight of evidence suggests that social media usage can lead to negative behaviors, such as harmful comparison, bullying, exposure to disturbing content, and more.
The Inspired Internet Pledge calls on social media platforms, and other web-based businesses, to unite with the common goal of ‘making the internet a safer and healthier place for everyone, especially young people’.
“Each signatory will create its own supplementary addendum to the pledge that describes the specific actions it will take to implement the pledge principles in ways relevant to the realities of their platform. These company addendums will be managed by the Digital Wellness Lab and made public to hold signatories accountable to their commitments.”
It’s another step from Pinterest to make its platform a more positive space, with increased consideration for inclusivity, support, and wellness.
Given its focus is now on product discovery, and not direct interaction as such, Pinterest is likely less impacted by these elements than other platforms, but it does have a big focus on beauty and fashion, which can also contribute to negative comparison and perceptual concerns.
As such, this could be an important step, and it’s good to see Pinterest willing to put its reputation on the line, by making a public commitment to more positive interactions.
You’ll be able to read the various commitments businesses have made to the Inspired Internet Pledge here.