Pinterest listens to users, makes crucial updates to its Terms and Conditions

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You know Pinterest is growing when the public starts giving it hell over its terms and conditions. The mob has called out the startup, and the company has listened. As Pinterest users know, the company last night sent out an email detailing a few, yet significant changes to its terms of service that are a clear, direct response to the various criticisms it has faced over the past few months.

“Our original Terms stated that by posting content to Pinterest you grant Pinterest the right for us to sell your content,” the company wrote on its blog. “Selling content was never our intention and we removed this from our updated Terms.”

To address the issues of rampant bullying, the promotion of unhealthy diets (like anorexia) and other harmful or immoral practices by users, Pinterest has updated its Acceptable Use Policy to include a ban on pins that encourage self-abuse or self-harm. The change is likely related to the mounting lawsuits stemming from inappropriate use of other social media platforms.

Pinterest’s Acceptable Use Policy particularly aligns with the increasing movement against bullying and prevents users from uploading any content that:

• Creates a risk of harm, loss, physical or mental injury, emotional distress, death, disability, disfigurement, or physical or mental illness to yourself, to any other person, or to any animal;

• Seeks to harm or exploit children by exposing them to inappropriate content, asking for personally identifiable details or otherwise.

• Contains any information or content we deem to be hateful, violent, harmful, abusive, racially or ethnically offensive, defamatory, infringing, invasive of personal privacy or publicity rights, harassing, humiliating to other people (publicly or otherwise), libelous, threatening, profane, or otherwise objectionable.

A potentially more significant change to Pinterest’s Terms is the incorporation of streamlined tools for reporting copyright or trademark infringement. Every pin is accompanied by a “Report Pin” button, and users who discover infringing content can file a complaint with Pinterest through its Copyright Infringement Notification form. The notification requirements include a URL to prove that the content is of your own, the URL to the infringing pin, your name, and home address.

Judging from its blog post’s feedback, it’s safe to say that Pinterest users have shifted the focus away away from their disdain for the new profile pages, and have culled a newfound respect for its CEO, Ben Silbermann.

The new Terms and Conditions will be formally recognized beginning April 6, 2012.