Pinterest has added a couple of new features that could lead to hurt feelings or to getting banned from the popular site. Pinterest, taking a page from Facebook, now lets users block others. The social pinboard site also has expanded its abuse reporting mechanism to include entire accounts rather than single photos or pins.
The new control features come as no surprise — these are pretty standard on other social media sites. The change at Pinterest can be attributed to Barry Schnitt, Pinterest's new head of communications and public policy, who was hired away from Facebook last spring.
Schnitt told TechNewsDaily that Pinterest users are a pretty positive bunch but that no site is problem-free. "When you have a community of millions, there will be disagreements or annoyances," he said. "That's why almost all social sites offer some form of blocking feature, and now we do, too."
In the past, people used Pinterest comment sections to file complaints like this one posted on Pinterest's blog:
"PLEASE close [name redacted] account! It's ALL PORN ! I'm looking up food and that JUNK pops up! Close that account NOW! Please and thank you!" October 4 at 2:08pm
Now all account profile pages will have a small red flag for reporting and blocking. A click reveals categories that warrant a report, such as pornography, hate speech , self-harm and spam. Sending the report will trigger a review by the Pinterest community team, which will take down the account if it violates the site's terms.
Clicking the red flag is also the first step toward blocking a user. You don't have to give a reason for blocking someone. While users won't receive notifications when they've been blocked, it will become obvious once they try to interact with the person who blocked them.
When you block someone on Pinterest, personal interactions cease. The person you block will not be able to follow you or interact with your pins, and vice versa. Any boards that were followed are automatically removed, along with comments posted on boards and pins. However, previous likes and repins are not removed — you'll have to do that manually. And keep in mind that no boards are private on Pinterest: The person you blocked still will be able to view your boards. [ Find Out What She's Really Thinking ... On Pinterest ]
Pinterest makes it easy to unblock a user if you have a change of heart. Go back to the person's profile and click "Unblock" on the center of his or her profile information.
Pinterest says it's rolling out the new features this week on its Web-based version and that the next mobile update will include reporting and blocking.