Pinterest is very different from other social networking websites. It has 250 million users, but rather than spending their time to spread content that ends up making someone sad, they spend their time making boards of the content that makes them happy. And when its users search the platform for something depressing or sad, the company does step in. However, now it will be doing more in such cases.
Today, Pinterest has rolled out a new set of “emotional well-being activities” that will offer a “compassionate search” for its users who search for topics that make it clear that they are going through stress or are feeling unhappy. These exercises have been developed in partnership with Stanford School of Medicine’s Brainstorm lab and one of them asks such users on the platform to take some deep breaths.
In a blog post, Pinterest said, “These guided activities were created with the help of emotional health experts at Brainstorm, the Stanford Lab for Mental Health Innovation, and with advice from Vibrant Emotional Health and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Each practice offers people an interactive way to try to improve their mood––from tools to help someone relax to self-compassion exercises. “
The company also adds, “People will see a prompt to explore these resources when they search for things like ‘stress quotes,’ ‘work anxiety” or other terms that indicate they might be feeling down. The experience is not meant to replace professional care, but it may help someone if they need support.”
Till now, if a user searched for words like ‘suicide’, ‘bulimia’ or ‘depression’, they are pointed towards some helpline numbers. Users in different countries are shown different numbers that are available for them locally. This is the company’s way of doing its bit to provide help. In fact, the platform does not even show any search results for some controversial topics. We should mention that there are hardly any other social media platforms that have undertaken so many steps.
Speaking about it to Wired, Pinterest’s product manager Annie Ta said that the company calls this idea as ‘Compassionate Search’. She also added, “We didn’t just decide to throw this in the app. We decided to put it in the app because people are already searching for these things so much.”
Pinterest says that it does not want to be seen as a social network. We personally think that it is a good thing to have a platform like this which is so different from other social media websites that have so much hate content. A number of such platforms are also coming up with their own ways and techniques to combat such content, but then, Pinterest does manage to leave them all behind.
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