Welp, here’s a new entry in the canon of dumb online stunts for political gain: On Saturday, presidential hopeful/bona fide troll Rand Paul made a fake Pinterest page for Hillary Clinton. And shortly thereafter, Pinterest deleted the page — because making a fake Pinterest for a female politician is not only sexist, unfunny and painfully lame, but also explicitly violates Pinterest’s Terms of Service.
Well played, Rand Paul … well played.
The page, before Pinterest took it down, was presumably meant to “burn” Clinton, as my colleague Hunter Schwarz wrote Saturday. It included a “Power Couple” board with pictures of the Clintons. An “Inspirational Quotes” page, with text images of things Clinton has said. And, apropos of nothing, a “White House Remodel” page, complete with pictures of the furniture Clinton would buy to make the Oval Office “more chic.”
The page did not identify itself as a “parody,” nor did it explain who was actually behind it. In fact, when Paul himself initially tweeted the account, he made it sound as though it belonged to Clinton.
Hillary Clinton’s new Valentine’s Day Pinterest board is worth a look. Check it out and please RT! https://t.co/UCOodbX9gh— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) February 14, 2015
That violates Pinterest’s Acceptable Use policy, which does not allow users to “impersonate or misrepresent [their] affiliation with any person or entity.” A Pinterest spokesman confirmed to The Post that they had deleted the account on those grounds, which — for the record — are de rigueur on pretty much any major social network, including Facebook and Twitter.
But it’s impossible not to read into Paul’s choice of Pinterest for this particular stunt, particularly given that his past gags have gone down on Twitter only. Pinterest’s user base is overwhelmingly female — in fact, with default boards like “For the Home” and “My Style,” Pinterest is pretty explicitly branded that way.
On top of that, while most of the boards on the Clinton parody account targeted Clinton’s record — which is certainly fair game — the “White House Remodel” board has no apparent connection to Clinton, as a person or a politician. In fact, it’s unclear what aspects of her record Paul is “parodying” there — beside the fact that (heyo!) Clinton is a lady. It even came complete with stereotypical photo captions, falsely attributed to Clinton and crimped straight from suburban-mom speak: “LOVE this,” “lol,” hearts, smileys.
Using stereotypes of women to mock a woman? How terribly novel and witty.
We can only hope Pinterest’s takedown serves as a warning to other politicians who hope to meme their way through the 2016 campaign: You guys don’t get the Internet and you’re not funny. Please — please — abstain.
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