Three people have accused the Pinterest app of bias, claiming that whites are harassed, and black users are unjustly excluded from feature updates on the social media app.
After 19 black users reportedly expressed concerns about their treatment on the app, Pinterest announced on January 18 that the app would implement policies to address discrimination for all racial and ethnic minorities. The firm also pledged $50 million to fund innovation on racial and ethnic equality.
It’s time to build an economy where America’s workforce is more reflective of the America we know, not less.
According to a statement released by Pinterest, the Silicon Valley firm will set aside $20 million in new capital, and will make equal employment opportunities a priority for public policies and private equity investments.
The firm said that it has also partnered with the law firm Latham & Watkins LLP to undertake a multidimensional process that will increase collaboration and enable new avenues for legal claims and consent decrees.
READ: What Is Pinterest? An Easy Guide to What Social Media Is For!
As part of the initiative, Pinterest said it will update its terms of service to require users to identify gender identity rather than a binary gender if they do not identify as a woman, man, or someone who identifies as neither. The app’s terms of service will also say it will only allow people to use their real name and credit information, and any content removed from the site will be in the public domain to provide “the highest possible visibility of offensive and dehumanizing content.”
“We want to be clear that we absolutely believe that diversity and inclusion are critical to our company and to Pinterest’s future success, as is empowering and making sure our employees are treated fairly and respect for all,” the statement read.
For more information on the policies and governance structures Pinterest has crafted, visit the firm’s Diversity Principles on Pinterest.
As the “long-time advocate of broad public support for higher wages and benefits for women, immigrants, and people of color,” Speaker Pelosi believes all of these policies are essential to making our work force more reflective of the America we know, not less.”
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on Facebook:
“The many social media platforms have to do their part to better serve all Americans. It’s time to build an economy where America’s workforce is more reflective of the America we know, not less. I applaud Pinterest’s efforts to confront racial and ethnic discrimination and their intention to explore public policy solutions. Pinterest is one of many online platforms that can develop a more inclusive workplace – and Congress wants to help by passing legislation to ensure social media platforms can innovate, but also build a common-sense foundation to increase diversity.”
Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) also issued the following statement:
“This should be a clarion call to all social media platforms to change the culture so that discriminatory conduct is not tolerated. The way we treat our family members, friends, neighbors, and coworkers should be of no concern to anyone, especially when it comes to equal pay, corporate practices, and recruiting fair hiring practices. Social media should not be a platform for discrimination.”