Pinterest bans pro-life advocacy group over 'harmful misinformation'

(Photo: Unsplash/Szabo Viktor)

Pro-life group Live Action has been banned by Pinterest for allegedly spreading "harmful misinformation". 

In response, Live Action has accused the photo sharing platform of "trying to secretly and dishonestly censor free expression". 

An anonymous whistleblower at the company told Project Veritas that "LiveAction.org" was added by Pinterest to its "pornography block list".

When a site is added to the block list, users cannot create pins that link to it. 

Pinterest, which has 300 million monthly users, told Buzzfeed that the porn label was a "legacy" name for the list of banned websites and that this would now be updated to reflect the fact that the list has expanded to include different categories of content.

It told Buzzfeed that LiveAction was suspended for "misinformation related to conspiracies and anti-vaccination advice, and not porn". 

LiveAction says it was informed by Pinterest that it had been "permanently suspended because its contents went against our policies on misinformation" and because the social media giant believes that the group spreads "medical misinformation and conspiracies that turn individuals and facilities into targets for harassment and violence".

Live Action founder and president, Lila Rose, said that the group was retained on the porn block list even after it complained to Pinterest.

She accused Pinterest of "secretly censoring" and trying to "suppress" the group's pro-life content on the platform. 

"We have more questions than answers about Pinterest's censorship of Live Action and the pro-life message," she said. 

"By secretly applying the label of 'pornography' to Live Action's pro-life content, Pinterest demonstrates a concerted effort to sideline a leading pro-life organization the only way they knew how.

"This does not appear to be a simple mistake."

She continued: "Pinterest users deserve to know the truth and our messages deserve to be treated fairly. If Planned Parenthood can promote their message on Pinterest, then Live Action should be able to as well.

"Pinterest trying to secretly and dishonestly censor free expression is every Pinterester's worst nightmare. We urge them to allow free expression on their platform and to stop censoring Live Action's pro-life message."

A fundraising campaign on Facebook to promote LiveAction's content on other social media channels has so far raised over £10,139.