Partnering with Samaritans to better serve and support those in need

Pinterest illustration

We’ve often said that keeping Pinterest an inspiring place for people to visit online is our priority. As an important step, we’ve deepened our partnership with Samaritans, and joined their new industry-wide programme to tackle self-harm content and make the internet a safer place for everyone.

This initiative enables us to support expert research and development within mental health so that more people in need can find support, no matter what app or website they use. By collaborating with health and wellness experts and other technology companies in this programme, we can make sure we’re better supporting our Pinners who need it most.

We know that we are not health professionals, which is why we are grateful to work with Samaritans and others who offer expert advice and vast experience with these important issues. We believe the industry working cooperatively to prevent people from encountering content that encourages harmful behaviour is the best way to keep people safe online.

“An innovative research programme will be the foundation for building our shared knowledge on this complex issue,” said Ruth Sutherland, CEO, Samaritans. “We need to know more about how certain content affects different people. We all have a role to play in suicide prevention and, by working together, we believe this hub of online excellence will drive meaningful change on an issue that needs urgent attention.”

This work builds on previous improvements we’ve made to Pinterest using guidance from Samaritans. For example, we have:

  • Improved safety advisories to our Pinners. We added a way to reach a suicide prevention helpline in just one tap from search or a Pinner’s board. When we detect a search or a board about self-harm, we also display a compassionate safety notice. As we’ve done in the past, we continue to not serve results for these kinds of searches.

  • Improved our policy and enforcement. We updated our policy and enforcement guidelines to help us ensure sensitivity, consistency and accuracy. These improvements help us more meaningfully engage with our Pinners who may be in distress.

We are working to do more across other types of content, because there’s nothing inspiring about harmful content.

Ifeoma Ozoma, Public Policy & Social Impact Manager