Sunday, April 22, 2012

Why I Deleted my Pinterest Boards

Hello ladies and gent,

How was your weekend? It's Sunday night here and almost the end of another week. I've given this a lot of thought and today I finally decided. I will delete my Pinterest boards.

Yes, sir. I'm deleting all the images I had gathered on carefully categorized pin boards. All that effort will be for nothing. I did not pin many images from other blogs due to copyright issues.

Here's the reason why. I've been spammed on Pinterest.

I've been spammed before - on my blog and my mail. Those I could deal with as I could simply delete and that'll be the end of it until another spam comes along. I had the control. Plus nowadays, Blogger is really good at catching spam comments. You don't even have to lift a finger. They go straight to the spam folder. As for my mail, since ditching hotmail and switching to gmail, I've discovered Gmail really does a good job as well stuffing spam mail into my spam folder. Occasionally a few slip through but once I report these as spam, they no longer get to my Inbox.

What happened to my images on Pinterest - you might want to take an interest because it might already have happened to yours.

Here's the mo.

A spammer repins your image to her board.
From her board, she edits the LINK in your image.
She points the LINK to a webpage that sells something.

So now we have 2 versions of my image.
- My original from my board with the LINK to my blog.
- A repin in the spammer's board with the LINK to her webpage.

Anyone who clicks on MY image from her board will see her webpage.
My spammers earn affiliates fees from sales made from the webpage.
Anyone who goes to the webpage via MY image and buys something will help my spammer make some money.
Nothing wrong with making money from affiliates links.

But this is done illegally by hijacking my image without my permission, all aided by Pinterest which allows editing of  LINKS of repinned images.

And there's nothing much I can do about it.
I tried removing the LINK in the spammer's version of MY image.
But it cannot be removed.
I reported the spammers to Pinterest.
They did nothing.
Maybe Pinterest is busy.
Maybe Pinterest gets too many such complaints and I'm in the queue.
It sucks.
I hate being spammed this way.
It feels so helpless.

And you know what? Finding out whether your images have been spammed isn't that easy.
First of all, you need to go to the board where your image has been repinned to.
There, you have to click on your image.
When you are in the page where it's just your image, you need to click on the image one more time to see where it goes.
If you've been spammed, it is obvious because it goes to a site you have no association with.

My spammer's website sells supplements targeted at people who may want to lose weight. I'm "lucky" it's not a porn site. Or a site that sells worse stuff.

I hate feeling helpless.

I tried to think of all the reasons why I need Pinterest:
1. Traffic - in the early days of Pinterest, I did get a fair bit of traffic from Pinterest. Now it's not enough to be worth the trouble.
2. A place to bookmark sites and images. You know what? There are other apps available that does the same job on your desktop. Far away from spammers.

Not enough reasons.
I'm keeping my account for a while just to allow me to do tidying up.
Those of you who had followed me, you just have to come to my blog from now on.

Oh, one more thing.
After deleting all my images from Pinterest, my repinned images including the ones being hacked still exists!!!
Hopefully, in a few days, a black hole will open up and swallow them.



Lorraine said...

Man, that sucks. I'm sorry this happened to you. I did not know that you could edit the links. I thought the whole point was to be able to keep that intact so you can remember where you found your image.

The fact that Pinterest hasn't said anything...that's just icing on the crap cake.

punkychewster said...

aiyoh! so terrible! I haven't discovered anything of that sort yet, but I haven't really been using my Pinterest for awhile now. I agree there really isn't much use for the boards when you can just bookmark the page. Half of the 'inspirations' I've pinned haven't been attempted. It's like another form of hoarding. Hoarding pictures, if you know what i mean!

Corey Johnston said...

Jane, I got rid of my PInterest account a long while ago... Not for the reasons you describe, but for the copyright issues. They've addressed them since then, but I still don't use it--I use Evernote now to collect inspiration and skip the "sharing" of what I find interesting, which always seemed rather "egoistic" to me...

I hadn't posted my own images on my boards, and I actively have a piece of HTML coding that prevents people from posting my images on Pinterest from my blog. I figured it was just one more social media tool that I didn't have time to deal with, so I drew the line and never got involved.

If you're looking for an image collector, Evernote is good. If you're still looking for a way of sharing your images on Pinterest, I suggest watermarking them or putting your website address in the image, so it's too much work for them to alter it and make it useable as a link to their own site... Sorry this whole thing happened--that sucks! : (

Sharon said...

Well, I am humanish, but I don't know about the delightful part -- I try!! I am really thinking over this Pinterest thing also. My verdict isn't in yet. The more I read the more I lean towards deleting my boards also. Time will tell! Sorry you got spammed cause that sucks.

Chris H said...

I have used Pinterest a little bit... but not enough to worry about spammers I think.
Sorry you had a bad experience.

Kristy QP said...

Gosh I didn't even know that was possible! How frustrating and what a horrible experience for you. Can definitely understand why you'd shy away from Pinterest.

Laurie-Jane said...

Wether he is modelling or protesting I do like your accommodating bear. I am enjoying your regular blogging well done. Don't let the spammers get you down I believe in karma.

antmee said...

So thats why Pininterest sux now! People are smamming it on purpose!! I stopped visiting the site when the links took me to some other crap instead of where I wanted to go!!

Pininterest better do something quick before they start to loose traffic!!

I love your bears attitude!

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