Pinterest Ramps Up Its Well-Being Efforts on World Mental Health Day

An additional 4,600 terms and phrases related to self-harm were removed from its platform

Searching for #pinterestwellbeing brings up activities
Pinterest

Pinterest marked World Mental Health Day Thursday by expanding on the well-being activities it added to its platform in July.

Starting in July, Pinners who searched for terms indicating that they may be struggling, such as “stress quotes” and “work anxiety,” began seeing well-being activities that they could partake in directly via the Pinterest application.

Pinterest said Thursday that users can now access those activities simply by searching for #pinterestwellbeing, adding that the activities are being spruced up with new illustrations and animations to make the experience more inviting for Pinners.

Pinners’ interactions with these activities are not connected to their accounts, and Pinterest does not track who uses them, with all activity stored anonymously via a third-party service.

Also, recommendations or ads are not served to people based on their usage of these activities.

The guided activities were created with the help of emotional health experts from Brainstorm at the Stanford Lab for Mental Health Innovation, along with advice from Vibrant Emotional Health and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Earlier this year, Pinterest updated its self-harm policy to hide or remove a broader range of content that could be triggering for some of its users, incorporating guidance from Samaritans into that initiative.

Recommendations for an additional 4,600 terms and phrases related to self-harm were removed from Pinterest’s platform, and Pinners who search for those terms or phrases are directed to expert resources, with those resources also being brought to people’s boards if they use them to collect content indicating that they may be in distress.

Outside emotional health experts at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Vibrant Emotional Health and Samaritans aided Pinterest in that effort.

Pinterest said it has also been developing machine learning technologies to identify and hide self-injury content, and reports of that type of content by Pinners have dropped 88% over the past year. The company added that it is removing Pins that are reported for self-harm three times quicker than it did in 2018, meaning that fewer Pinners see that content.

In the U.S., support from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available via the Pinterest app in a single tap.

Also for World Mental Health Day, the World Health Organization saved new Pins aimed at reducing the stigma of suicide and offering help to people who need it, while the American Academy of Pediatrics is bringing its resources for parents on to the Pinterest platform.

Pinterest head of Pinner products Omar Seyal wrote in a blog post Thursday, “World Mental Health Day is an important time to bring awareness to the challenges surrounding mental health and support our most vulnerable friends, family members and neighbors. But for us, this work is not just a 24-hour commitment. We believe a healthy life is an inspired life, and we’re working hard to build Pinterest in a responsible, compassionate way every day.”

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