Two of the largest online wedding planning platforms are taking major steps to stop promoting former slave plantations as wedding venues. Pinterest and the Knot Worldwide are altering their policies, instituting new guidelines that would ensure wedding vendors on their websites don’t use language that romanticizes Southern plantation history.
Users will still be able to search for plantation wedding content on Pinterest, and venues will still appear on the site, but the company will restrict plantation wedding content and work on de-indexing Google searches for plantation weddings.
A Pinterest spokesperson told BuzzFeed News, “Weddings should be a symbol of love and unity. Plantations represent none of those things. We are working to limit the distribution of this content and accounts across our platform, and continue to not accept advertisements for them.”
The policy change was prompted by increased pressure from civil rights advocacy group Color of Change. In a letter sent to the Knot Worldwide executives, the organization said, “The decision to glorify plantations as nostalgic sites of celebration is not an empowering one for the Black women and justice-minded people who use your site.” In a similar letter to Pinterest, it wrote, “Plantations are physical reminders of one of the most horrific human rights abuses the world has ever seen.”
Arisha Hatch, vice president of Color of Change, compared plantation weddings to weddings at concentration camps, and asked if the latter would be considered an acceptable wedding venue.
The new policy will be rolled out in the next few weeks.