Monday, April 2, 2012

A Pinterest Warning For Everybody

If you're not on Pinterest, you may as well stop reading this now. This won't interest you.

This is not my typical post, but I thought this was extremely disturbing...and illegal...so I wanted to share. Let me point out, I'm not a Super-Pinner or anything. I don't pin a million things a day, but anyone who knows me knows I sing the praises of Pinterest for EVERYTHING!

Back in September, I threw Natalie a Fancy Nancy party and got all of my ideas off of Pinterest. I even made a special board called "For My Natty Bratty." A board name very customized to me and my daughter - the reason I was throwing the party. Because honestly I don't care who looks at my Pinboards, I don't need them for blog traffic and am not really concerned about them being helpful to others. Yes, a shocker.

One pin in particular (that I pinned myself as an original pin) has caught on like wildfire over the last few weeks and was re-pinned over 160 times. My description was "Treats for the Fancy Nancy Party. Love the M&Ms." Here's the original site because I LOVED this idea, pinned it and totally used the tutorial as the author intended. Marshmallow Treat Pops. Lots of REAL people repinned it too, don't get me wrong. This pin probably drove plenty of legitimate traffic to its original (and deserving) site.

I got so sick of being notified of its multiple re-pins that I un-pinned it over the weekend. I then went on and searched "Fancy Nancy" and was shocked to find that not only are people STEALING the original author's photo, they are using my name, my description and my very customized board name and linking them out to spam sites.






Photo Credits: The Hostess with the Mostess


My point: I don't know what you as a Pinner or Blogger should DO about this. Just be cautioned. Maybe if you see one of your pins running rampant, take it down? I don't know what the answer is. However, I don't really want MY name being associated with offers from criminals.

I also feel horrible and somewhat responsible for having the original author's intellectual property stolen. Obviously, back in September I had no idea of the Pinterest IP uproar that occurred recently, but I pinned this using Pinterest the way it was intended - because I loved the idea, I knew other people would use it and thought the author should totally get traffic from a kick-ass idea.

She put her tutorial out there for people like me to find and use, not for scammers to abuse.

This is what Pinterest intended, isn't it?

Please feel free share this post and warn others. If not for anything else, but to keep YOUR NAME from being used in the description.





23 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh! I had no idea this was a thing. None. And I turned off email notifications for repins (because the volume was completely unmanageable) so I would have basically no idea if someone were doing that. Thanks!

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  2. I so hear you!! I love pinterest and find it a brilliant and useful tool... except for the pitfalls like this where original sources are lost and things get a bit wonky with credit/abuse. Another issue is those of us creating original works that are pinned and repinned away from the source (such as other features/copies/google images/etc.) I recently learned from the BBC that my melting snowman cookie I created in 2008 is one of the highest pinned photos ever on Pinterest (EVER! how cool is that?) But um, yeah, I didn't get any of the actual traffic, so no one knows it was mine. Sigh :). So much fodder for discussion!! Thanks so much for sharing this.

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  3. Wow. That sucks and seems so unfair.
    PS> Yes I ignored your warning to not read the post if I'm not on Pinterest. I like feeling good about my decision to stay away. Haha.

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  4. Wow, I had no idea it had gotten that bad. Why do they always turn something good into something so awful? I'd at least report it to Pinterest & leave it up to them to shut those people down.

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  5. I'm with Rachel, did you report it? That totally sucks.

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  6. That's terrible! I use Pinterest, but sporadically and usually from my phone where it's tough (maybe impossible - I never really tried) to view your boards or see what's being pinned/repinned. I've noticed in my stream I've somehow started following people I know I didn't follow on purpose - and now this? I love the idea behind Pinterest, but it sounds like they have a lot of bugs to work out. I hate the idea that something questionable might be going on with my account when I'm not paying attention!

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  7. Oh ick. Maybe ask a couple of the Pinterest gurus what to do? I know I follow a couple on twitter that might know more about what to do/report/etc. I think they're @pinsavysocial do you know who I mean?

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  8. Wow. I had no idea this was possible. Thanks for the heads up.

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  9. Seems like there should be a word for those type of spammers. Like Splinters. Or spinning. Thanks for the heads up

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  10. Ugh, why do people always have to ruin a good thing? I had no idea there were spambots on Pinterest! Thanks for the warning, I will be sharing!

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  11. Seriously? This sucks big time. I was hoping Pinterest at least would remain spammer-free. (I also hope to win the lottery and find a buried treasure in my backyard.) Thanks for the article.

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  12. Another thing to worry about. Why is it that there are always people who take a good thing and turn into something bad? I love Pinterest but like you I'm not a crazy pinner but i will keep my eyes open now!!! Thanks for the heads-up.

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  13. And who the hell clicks on the spammer stuff anyway????? Like seriously, they wouldn't do it (on twitter or fb or now Pinterest) if it didn't work, right? WHY DOES IT WORK? WHY DO PEOPLE CLICK ON "FREE GUCCI BAGS" AND "INSANE AWESOME WEIGHT LOSS"?????

    Sorry. That was a lot of yelling. I just hate it when people feed the spammers....

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  14. Yikes! Pinterest must do something about this quickly. I love it, but I do feel it is being abused and really do not want to be any part of that.

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  15. I had no idea about this! Thanks so much for giving a heads up, and I'll keep my eyes open. Why do people have to ruin it for others?

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  16. I have not pinned a thing of late ... ack, all this mumbo jumbo.

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  17. I had no idea this was happening. There is a new book on Pinterest coming out. I will have see what it suggests about this problem.

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  18. Oh mah gah. I Pin A LOT so this is worrying. I always Pin from the original source, and I just assume that other Pinners will repin in good faith and the original site gets the recognition/ traffic it deserves.

    But this? This makes me sick. Gah.

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  19. People always have to ruin a good thing. I had no idea about this. Did you report it? I don't even know what steps to take in this situation.

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  20. Pinterest seems like a good idea but in reality I think it's causing more problems than they had anticipated. It will be interesting to see how the company handles this.

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  21. Oh, no! Why do there have to be so many weirdos out there that do the wrong thing? I'm sorry that happened. It is nice of you to be so concerned. I'm sure she wouldn't be upset with you at all. You were spreading her work around in a good way. I have GOT to get on Pinterest. I'm so late to this game!

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  22. GAH! This sucks! I'm glad you noticed it was happening and was able to thwart it. I had a similar incident on Twitter last week when one of my friends emailed me that a spammer was using my profile pic as his. It was a hassle to file a copyright infringement report with Twitter, but eventually they took my pic away from the spammer. But I never would have known about it if my friend hadn't emailed me. So disturbing!

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  23. Thank you so much for this!! I would have never thought to check out my pins!!

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