Pinterest is addictive, rewarding and entertaining . . . but I encourage “responsible Pinning”. I know it takes extra time to click on a pin to investigate the link. But I think it’s worth taking the time for these reasons:
1. You don’t want to pin broken links or spam
It’s embarrassing when you pin something and your followers start leaving comments because there’s something wrong with the link. The link could be broken or even worse, it could be spam. You don’t want to pin broken links and you definitely don’t want to pin spam.
You can fight spam by leaving a comment on the post (i.e. “This link is spammy”) and report the post as spam (so that Pinterest will review it).
If you find a broken link, leave a comment on the pin so that the pinner can correct the link. Often broken links are simply mistakes and many pinners will correct the link if it’s brought to their attention. Sometimes you can find the correct link yourself by doing a Google search based on the title of the pin.
2. You don’t want to pin stolen images
Does the link take you to a website that published the image and instructions/recipe as their own original work? You’ll find many images are “borrowed” and sometimes this is a copyright violation. The easiest way to tell who created the image is to look for a “watermark” with the website’s name. Unfortunately these are often “cropped out” of the image so you can’t see it. But if you glance at the article or post using the image you can usually tell if it’s really their original work or not by looking for a detailed written description or a link to the source of the original work.
It’s wonderful when the original author/creator gets full credit for what they created. That’s why I advocate pinning original sources when possible. Just because many bloggers are “borrowing” photos doesn’t mean it’s ok or right to do so. Copyright violation is a serious problem and bloggers can be sued for using photos that they don’t own.
3. You want to follow the source of the pin
I’ve found many wonderful pinners to follow by looking at the source of the pins I love. Most blogs have a “Pinterest” button near the top of their site so you can checkout their profile and follow them to see more of their creative works.
4. You want to support pinners you love
A click translates to a fraction of a penny for blogs and websites that dedicate space to advertising. Once in awhile your click will take you to a spammy site (and hopefully you’ll report it so others won’t click on it), but most of the time your click will take you to someone who is working hard to bring you things they think are worth sharing. And in exchange for them sharing freely with you, your visit is supporting their site.
Again, I know that it takes extra time to check the links on pins (especially from mobile) but I’d encourage you to see if you can improve your Pinterest experience by doing so. You can also help everyone on Pinterest by fighting spam. I know it’s not your job to do so, but Pinterest needs spam to be reported so they can deal with it faster.
Do you have questions about Pinterest or tips you’d like to share? Please leave a comment!
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How will I know if a recipe has been stolen or not? I know that’s been happening a lot lately and unless I’ve seen the original post, how will I know?
You can usually tell because the recipe may be incomplete or it gives credit to the recipe source within the text. When you see sites that post the photo and nothing else then it’s really obvious they stole the photo. For other sites it harder to tell, but the copycats usually only copy part of the recipes post so it will feel like something is missing.
Also, some recipe re-bloggers will say “Adapted from” and when you go to the link they give, it’s the EXACT SAME RECIPE. Personally, I don’t count changing two words in the recipe to be an “adaptation.” I try to check this when I can.
Great Info! It drives me crazy when I would go for a recipe through a pin and it was spam! Now I am sure to check the link before I pin, or use the link to go to the site (to give some traffic love) and then pin from the site.
Yep – nobody wants to promote spam so it’s definitely worth checking the link!
Your article was food for thought. If I pinned an instructional pin (crafts, recipes) I always followed the link to make sure that I was pinning the information I needed.
On inspirational pins (quotes, beautiful pictures) I just re-pinned, not followed the link. Following your article, I went back to see if those pins were true links. Surprise surprise, hardly any were.
I found a way (on pinterest, ironically enough) to find a pin’s true source (in case of spam or the dreaded scrolling through a blog’s or tumblr’s content – which I hate, such a time waster): by way of Chrome: on pinterest, click on the pin just once. Right click on image, select “Copy image URL. Go to google, click on images. A box will appear, click the camera image. The box will expand, paste your image and click search. Click through the multiple results that appear to find the original source. There is also a drag and drop method, but I prefer the above.
Thanks for keeping us informed!
Thanks so much for sharing that tip Hallie! And I’m glad I made you more aware of what links you’re pinning – it’s good to know how to prevent promoting spammy links because even if you aren’t clicking on them, others might be.
That’s a great point! You want to find information about a pin quickly – and weeding thru a long list is cumbersome. Also it’s nice to visit blogs that don’t load really slow due to too many images. Thanks so much for leaving a comment!
thanks for this. i always wondered what it meant when it says ‘be a responsible pinner’. (i use Pinterest to find projects for myself but havent actually started my own board yet)
one thing that drove me nuts about Pinterest last year was a was looking at a lot of pages for Christmas inspirations and it seems like every single thing i clicked on went to a page for the month’s worth of posts instead of the actual post with the part I wanted. then you have to scroll down to see where the one you wanted was and it was tough on my slow connection since so many of those blogs are picture intensive.
Completely agree! I typically right click on something I like on Pinterest, then go to the original page and pin from there. This way I go to the source, plus I look at each to see if I even like it enough to pin
Yes – it’s always nice to see what the source of the pin is before you pin it!