Pinterest Places Pro-Life Group on Porn Ban List

News: US News
by William Mahoney, Ph.D.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  June 13, 2019   

Inside whistleblower reveals all and then gets fired

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SAN FRANCISCO (ChurchMilitant.com) - Pinterest placed a well-known pro-life group on a porn ban list.

An anonymous whistleblower spoke to James O'Keefe of Project Veritas about the ordeal.

Megan McClellan, a Pinterest employee working on the trust and safety team in San Francisco, added Live Action to the porn ban list in February, adding one word as an additional comment: "health."

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Screenshot of Megan McClellan adding Live Action to the porn ban list

Being added to the porn block list means that it is impossible to create a pin with Live Action in it. Any attempt to create such a pin will trigger the following error message: "Sorry! Your Request could not be completed."

Asked, "Why do you think they are targeting Live Action?" the whistleblower responded, "I think because Live Action is effective, and I think they are seeing increased pressure in the abortion debate."

Putting Live Action on a porn ban list when Live Action is not a pornographic website suggests a deliberate effort to hide that the site is being blocked, according to the whistleblower.

"Why not just add it [Live Action] to the sensitive terms list under hate speech, if you really think it's hate speech?" he asked rhetorically.

When confronted with an appeal, their employees doubled down and kept Live Action on the pornography list.

Lila Rose, the founder and president of Live Action, came to the same conclusion.

"By secretly applying the label of 'pornography' to Live Action's pro-life content, Pinterest demonstrates a concerted effort to sideline a leading pro-life organization the only way they knew how," she said.

"This does not appear to be a simple mistake," she added. "When confronted with an appeal, their employees doubled down and kept LiveAction.org on the pornography list."

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Other websites that are clearly not pornographic such as PJ Media, a conservative news site, were found on the porn ban list.

Genet Girmay, another Pinterest employee working in product safety, received an appeal to have Live Action removed from the porn ban list.

"I don't think it should be removed, but thinks this warrants a further discussion because we are currently not removing pro-life/pro-choice content, but this was added to a domain blocklist," she said.

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Screenshot of Genet Girmay's correspondence

Project Veritas' exposé also revealed that Pinterest has an "A/C Privileged: Conspiracy Doc" containing "a partial list of conspiracies that need to be removed," the whistleblower said.

The list distinguishes between what is deemed non-harmful conspiracies (flat earth) and harmful ones (David' Daleiden's undercover videos of Planned Parenthood employees discussing the sale of fetal body parts).

Just prior to the release of Project Veritas' exposé, Pinterest removed Live Action from the porn ban list but then permanently banned the pro-life organization from the platform altogether soon thereafter.

"Their course of action is confusing at best," said O'Keefe in an update.

"Interestingly, we learned that Pinterest is changing its policy," he added.

Pinterest claims that Live Action was blocked from the platform 'for misinformation related to conspiracies and anti-vaccination advice, and not porn.'

Pinterest claims that Live Action was blocked from the platform "for misinformation related to conspiracies and anti-vaccination advice, and not porn."

In the update, O'Keefe also revealed that Pinterest fired the whistleblower.

The pro-life organization American Life League (ALL) was banned from Pinterest in October because somebody at Pinterest considered the organization's activity as "spam."

Church Militant spoke to Dwain Currier, ALL's chief digital content creator.

"Our Pinterest posts included links to Judie's [Judie Brown, founder and president of ALL] commentaries, resources and T-shirts available in the American Life League store, and a few infographics like pro-life terminology and Planned Parenthood's deceptions," said Currier.

"I didn't notice the suspension until early 2019," he continued.

Currier did not notice the suspension until early 2019 because the organization stopped using the platform as they did not find it advantageous.

"It seems more of a place for DIY closet organizing and cat memes rather the serving ALL's message," said Currier.

"Had it been Facebook or Twitter who suspended us I would have made a great effort to correct the problem," he added. "But Pinterest? Meh."

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