Pinterest Is Taking a Stand Against Plantation Weddings

Pinterest and The Knot will be limiting content that romanticizes wedding venues that were once plantations.

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Pinterest—a social media platform on which users post aspirational wedding photos, among other things—will be restricting content that romanticizes plantation weddings following pressure from advocacy groups. "Weddings should be a symbol of love and unity. Plantations represent none of those things," a Pinterest spokesperson told BuzzFeed News via email. "We are working to limit the distribution of this content and accounts across our platform, and continue to not accept advertisements for them."

The civil rights advocacy group Color of Change has been urging companies like Pinterest and The Knot to stop promoting plantations—where slaves were tortured and forced into labor—as wedding venues altogether. "Plantations are physical reminders of one of the most horrific human rights abuses the world has ever seen," Color of Change's letter to The Knot read. "The wedding industry routinely denies the violent conditions black people faced under chattel slavery by promoting plantations as romantic places to marry."

As Arisha Hatch, the vice president of Color of Change, told BuzzFeed News, "If we were talking about concentration camps, it would be weird and disrespectful and egregious for folks to be seeking to have their weddings at these locations."

 

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While users can still search for "plantation weddings" on Pinterest, they'll now see an advisory noting that some of the images—or pins, as they're called—have been reported as potentially going against their policies, which include removing images that "glorify violence."

The Knot Worldwide, which owns The Knot and Wedding Wire, similarly said that they were working with Color of Change to ensure former plantations acknowledge and don't romanticize their past. While former slave plantations will still be able to list themselves as wedding venues on The Knot, they will no longer be allowed to describe themselves as "elegant" or "charming," even if they have re-branded themselves as farms or manors.

"We want to make sure we're serving all our couples and that they don't feel in any way discriminated against," Dhanusha Sivajee, the chief marketing officer of The Knot Worldwide, told BuzzFeed News.

 

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Plantation weddings have come under fire in recent years. Celebrities like Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds were slammed for getting married at the Boone Hall Plantation in South Carolina in 2012. In addition to being a popular wedding venue, it also offers tours of its original slave cabins.

 

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The decision to restrict this kind of content was met with general applause on Twitter.

Some who were less aware of the controversy surrounding plantation weddings began to understand the issues.

While others thought it was about time things changed on wedding and wedding-related websites.

And for more news you might have missed this week, read Amazon Removes Auschwitz Christmas Ornaments Following Backlash.

Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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