Pinterest

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Pinterest Website Poster Image
Semi-social site helps users collect images for inspiration.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 15 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 26 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn snippets about science, sewing, and other topics via user-created bulletin boards featuring images from other sites. But the brief photo descriptions don't usually include much, if any, background information. Some topics (DIY & Crafts, Science & Nature) have more informative posts than others (Apparel). Links to additional information are hit or miss. Most boards have photos that are interesting and inspirational but not very informative. Pinterest is a good way to express yourself by organizing and sharing what you find on the web that inspires you.

Positive Messages

Some users post images with inspirational quotes, other upbeat notes.

Violence

Select boards feature images from '80s true-crime magazines, crime scene photos, horror movie posters, images, other somewhat graphic pictures.

Sex

Technically, nudity isn’t allowed; users told to report abuses, but searches for subjects such as "Playboy," "porn" turn up a number of photos featuring nudity, sexual situations. Users can report inappropriate content.

Language

Site’s Pin Etiquette policy encourages users to "be respectful in your comments and conversations." But there's no language filter. Although many posts appear to be clean, possible to use words such as "f--king" when posting image description.

Consumerism

Because users pull images from other websites, product shots (references to specific products) are very common. ("Products" is a category choice to identify boards you create; site offers shopping-based search item.) Some pins are de facto ads for products, link to a product's website.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

User-submitted content includes some alcohol, cigarette company ads, humor-themed drug images (such as a poster who says, "Remember kids, if a stranger offers you drugs … say thank you, because drugs are expensive").

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pinterest is a photo-sharing site. To join this digital pin-board site and app, you need to either enter a username and password or sign up using Facebook. People use Pinterest to share, save, and categorize images and ideas for everything from crafting, tattoos, and photography to cooking, decorating, and collecting stuff. Although most pins people post are pretty clean, there's some not-for-kids stuff that teens may happen across (pins that include nudity in the tattoo category, for example), and they will definitely find iffy stuff if they intentionally search for it. In some instances, Pinterest links to other sites, and some of those may contain content that’s inappropriate for teens. There's no language, violence, or drug filter to be found on the site either, so it's entirely possible that kids can be exposed to mature content. Users will also have to worry about being exposed to various product shots and ads that are constantly posted across user boards. Both app and website versions of this title are available; our review references key points relevant to both.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 10 and 12 year old Written bymmpj August 10, 2012

Mixed Bag

My daughter wanted to join. (ToS say 13, though they didn't ask for a birthday). I created my own account to check it out, and did so with an email addre... Continue reading
Adult Written byKristaWells June 17, 2014

Be careful of pinterest

I enjoy Pinterest sometimes to get ideas for birthday parties or decorating. I sat down at the computer with one of my kids and typed in "his and hers kids... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byspenguin November 10, 2012

Amazing Website

Pinterest is my favorite website and i go on everyday! The website is good for kids if they do not follow pinners who say bad words. I have been a member for ab... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old August 24, 2012

not for 9&under

i recently joined and i love it.so far ive only seen one use of the ''f'' word.

What's it about?

PINTEREST offers fashion fans -- and art, car, and other enthusiasts -- a chance to fawn over their favorite items. Users can browse topics by tapping on a category or entering a keyword in the search field, easily grab and add photos to a customized bulletin board, and post comments on photos other users have picked. You won't find as many back-and-forth conversations as on Facebook or much background on the items users post: People often primarily use Pinterest to showcase stuff they like. But if you're looking for new looks, hobbies, or activities to try, Pinterest may provide some creative inspiration.

Is it any good?

Pinterest makes it easy to categorize clothes, accessories, art, and other items you find interesting. Just add the "Pin It" button to your bookmarks bar and click on it to add any website image you like to one of your boards. Users categorize their Pinterest boards by topic, such as fitness or food and drink. That makes it easy to search for other users with similar tastes; you can repin their picks or post comments about them. Pinterest is generally a good example of positive social networking with lots of practical purpose and creativity in the vast majority of pins. But Pinterest feels less interactive than Facebook or Twitter; users seem to repin more than they comment, which doesn't make the experience very social; and it’s a user-generated content service, so there's some content many parents may find inappropriate, especially for younger teens.

Pinterest could be made more safe and appropriate for teens if there were an option to filter pins with nudity, profanity, and violence (which can be reported easily by tapping on the send arrow and the "Report Pin" option). Still, many of the user-created boards provide cooking, craft, and other ideas, and Pinterest is a great way to brainstorm and keep track of gift suggestions and other items. Be aware, though, that all the usual social-networking privacy concerns apply. You can limit who posts images to your boards; but if the Facebook or Twitter account you register with includes a photo and your full name, users will view your favorite pics on Pinterest -- and your identity.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about internet safety. Why would you not want other users on the website to be able to access your profile and other information -- even if someone you know invited you to join the site? Which items could you remove or hide on your site profile to make the experience safer?

  • What kinds of images are OK to share on boards or profiles other users can see? Should you post pictures of you and your friends? What kinds of images shouldn't you post?

  • Sites such as Pinterest and Facebook offer a way to express yourself -- but what kinds of comments would you not want to post on a site where all users could potentially see them? How can you change your privacy settings to make sure only the right people have access to the thoughts you share?

Website details

For kids who love crafts and collecting

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