LOS ANGELES - Pinterest and The Knot, both popular sites used for wedding planning, have changed their policies to stop promoting and romanticizing wedding content that involves former slave plantations.
California-based advocacy group Color of Change said Wednesday that it pressured the companies to change their policies. Both agreed to do so.
Jade Magnus Ogunnaike, Color of Change’s interim senior campaign director, issued a statement on the changes in a Facebook post from the organization.
“The wedding industry routinely denies the violent conditions Black people faced under chattel slavery by promoting plantations as romantic places to marry,” she said.
The Knot Worldwide said it is currently working with the organization to update its content guidelines to “ensure all couples feel welcomed and respected” on its websites. Those websites include The Knot and WeddingWire.
“At The Knot Worldwide, we pride ourselves as a company by being inclusive to all – all sexes, genders, races, sexual orientations, religions and more,” the company said in a statement. “Color of Change brought an issue to light about the way venues with a history of slavery describe their properties to couples.”
New guidelines will prohibit any vendors on either site from using language that “romanticizes or glorifies a history” that included slavery, the statement added. If vendors don’t comply with those guidelines, the company will remove them from the websites.
“By creating these guidelines, we are providing a respectful experience for all couples, wedding professionals and employees,” the statement said.
As for Pinterest, the company is also making changes and limiting distribution of the content as well as vendor accounts across its website. The limits include autocomplete actions which bring up anything related to “plantation weddings,” search recommendations, email notifications and search engine optimization, or key words.
While Pinterest users can still search for that particular type of wedding content, an advisory will be shown that states those search results violate company policies.
“Weddings should be a symbol of love and unity. Plantations represent none of those things,” a Pinterest spokesperson said. “We are grateful to Color of Change for bringing attention to this disrespectful practice.”
Pinterest said it does not accept advertisements from those kinds of venues and “will continue not to.”