It's mind-boggling that, in 2019, couples are still getting married on former slave plantations. It's reprehensible to celebrate on land with such a horrifying history and even more ugly that owners of such venues market them to couples as wedding spaces. But now Pinterest and The Knot are hiding slave plantation wedding content on their sites, reports BuzzFeed News, and they are doing it with a little help from some very important friends.
Pinterest had some strong words about plantations.
Pinterest is not paying lip service to the issue, and they aren't mincing words, either. "Weddings should be a symbol of love and unity. Plantations represent none of those things," they told BuzzFeed News in a statement. "We are working to limit the distribution of this content and accounts across our platform, and continue to not accept advertisements for them."
BuzzFeed also says that Pinterest "will restrict plantation wedding content on its website, and is working on de-indexing Google searches for plantation weddings on Pinterest. Though users can still search for it, they'll see an advisory that some of that content may violate Pinterest's policies." In other words, users will see a reported pins notice at the top of such search results.
As for The Knot, it is working directly with vendors.
The Knot, which operates a vast directly of wedding vendors, including venues, caterers, and florists, are working to change the way such businesses market their services. Dhanusha Sivajee, The Knot's chief marketing officer, told BuzzFeed News that they are "currently working on new guidelines to ensure wedding vendors on their websites don’t use language that glorifies, celebrates, or romanticizes Southern plantation history."
Sivajee noted, "You can imagine there could be former plantations that maybe have changed their names to manors or farms," which is beyond icky.
The Knot is also partnering with an advocacy group.
Color of Change, an advocacy group, is working with The Knot to enact such changes. And it's making it very clear that plantation weddings are deeply messed up. "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," Arisha Hatch, Color of Change's vice president, told BuzzFeed News, and she's absolutely correct.