A few weeks back, I received an email from Pinterest informing me of changes to their Terms of Use and Privacy policies.  I was impressed by the notice I received confirming my membership because of the polite and unpretentious tone they took as they told me proper Pinterest etiquette – be nice and give credit to rightful owners of other pinned content by linking back to the original.

Security Changes Lead to Negative Backlash

In weeks prior to the announcement of changes, Pinterest had become the subject of negative, and sometimes hostile blog posts, Tweets and other comments in the social world. Rumors were spreading that Pinterest could sell items or ideas users posted on the site without users’ permission, and that the site encouraged unfair use or violations of copyright. (Hat tip to Jessi Hempel and Alex Conrad, who wrote about this for Fortune Magazine.)

Effective Communication Quells Rumors

Then came the email from Pinterest changing and clarifying their terms and privacy policies. The notice was clear, polite and acknowledged errors in their original terms, explaining how it had happened. This transparency and humility is a stark contrast to the defensive statements we’ve seen over the years from other popular sites.

If this type of communication is indicative of how Pinterest will treat it’s users and marketing partners, doing business with the folks at Pinterest will be a pleasure.

For more on Pinterest, DragonSearch’s Deidre Drewes recently blogged for the Pivotcon on effective and not so effective uses of Pinterest.