Why the New Pinterest Climate Change Policy is Having A Moment

Here’s why the new Pinterest Climate Change policy is going to cause BIG waves across all social sharing platforms.

If you haven’t yet heard, Pinterest rolled out a new platform-wide policy on April 22nd (holla back Earth Day). And it’s banning misinformation from posts and ads about climate change.

Some of us may be having a big sigh of relief. But other social platforms (looking at you Meta) may be squirming.

From a brand strategy perspective, this decision from Pinterest is a huge deal.

Here’s how this recent policy roll-out could change the face of search engines and social platforms as we know them.

Wait, Why Does the Pinterest Climate Change Policy Matter?

Pinterest is the second-largest search engine in the world, running right behind the behemoth that is Google.

The fact that Pinterest is such a HUGE platform means that they have a lot of responsibility to respond to their user data. Plus, because their global reach extends to millions of users, their decisions have massive implications for search engines as a whole.

The platform now has 431 million monthly active users, and compared to last year, searches for “zero waste tips” are now 6X greater, and “recycling clothes ideas” are 4X higher*. 

In a member-wide email that went out to all users of Pinterest, the company states

“More and more, people are turning to Pinterest to find ways of adding sustainability to their lifestyle. That’s why we’ve rolled out a climate misinformation policy to keep false and misleading claims around climate change off Pinterest!”

But wait, it gets better.

The New Pinterest Climate Change Policy Takes a Political Stance

To date, no other platform has taken such a firm and unabiding political stance on an issue so steeped in politics as climate change.

And Pinterest is leveraging the shit out of this polarizing decision in a recent company statement that read, 

“Our new policy makes Pinterest the only major digital platform to have clearly defined guidelines against false or misleading climate change information, including conspiracy theories, across content and ads”.

Here’s the breakdown of their new policy:

  • Content that denies the existence or impacts of climate change, the human influence on climate change, or that climate change is backed by scientific consensus. 
  • False or misleading content about climate change solutions that contradict well-established scientific consensus.
  • Content that misrepresents scientific data, including by omission or cherry-picking, in order to erode trust in climate science and experts.
  • Harmful false or misleading content about public safety emergencies including natural disasters and extreme weather events.

What the Pinterest Climate Change Policy Means for Other Platforms

We’ve seen platforms (looking at you Facebook, aka Meta) claim to address reducing the spread of false news.

Through the Transparency Center, Meta shares a statement that reads 

“Reducing the spread of false news on Facebook is a responsibility that we take seriously. We also recognize that this is a challenging and sensitive issue. We want to help people stay informed without stifling productive public discourse. There is also a fine line between false news and satire or opinion.”

But in this article, they go on to say that “we do not remove false news from Facebook but we significantly reduce its distribution by showing it lower in News Feed”.

Which is just the epitome of a wishy-washy approach to posting policy.

By Pinterest being the first platform to take a strong stance on removing false information, this will put massive pressure on platforms like Meta (who are notorious for flip-flopping) to uphold firm standards on community guidelines.

What This Means for the Pinterest Brand

As a brand strategist, I can see exactly why Pinterest made this decision. It’s based on data and trend forecasting.

A company called the WGSN, which is a huge data conglomerate that predicts consumer behavior and forecasts trends across thousands of industries recently published their “Consumer Behavior Insights” for 2024.

In this publication, they predicted the key consumer profiles that will appear by the year 2024. One such profile is called the “Connectors”, which embodies a buyer persona that is focused on sustainability, crowd-sharing resources such as clothes, cars, etc, and above all, sustainability.

By appealing to this consumer profile NOW, Pinterest is setting itself up for MASSIVE success for years to come. 

This bold decision also showcases the company’s commitment to staying a top-tier search engine and remaining relevant as consumers shift their ideals and priorities.

Bravo Pinterest, just bravo.

At the End of the Day

Only time will tell if this public declaration carries any weight.

As we’ve seen with Meta, upholding content policy can be a “sensitive” topic that has huge implications for the company’s bottom line.

In short, we’ll have to wait and see how firmly Pinterest upholds these new rules.

But if they do, it’s going to put a lot of pressure on other platforms to uphold the same standards. And this may completely change the face of social platforms as we know it.

If developing or refining a Brand Strategy is your next step, we invite you to book a Complimentary 30-minute Call with our founder and lead brand strategist, Tristan Thibodeau, who can fill you in on the best approach to turning your brand into a leader within your industry.

Ready to book a Complimentary 30-minute Call? Click here to schedule!

Photo of the author of this blog

Tristan Thibodeau is the founder of Wild Womn Haus and is a brand strategist for entrepreneurs in the wellness, beauty, and lifestyle brand industries. 

She specializes in helping companies create and maintain their image. She works with market research, industry analysis, and consumer trends to offer strategic insights for brands so that they can enhance their marketing efforts and grow their bottom line. 

Tristan also hosts The Wild Womn Hotline, which is a podcast that features expert-level conversations for growing your brand in bold and strategic ways.

Follow her on Instagram @tristan.wildwomnhaus and follow the agency on Instagram @wildwomnhaus and TikTok @tristan.wildwomnhaus!!

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