February 21, 2012

Pinterest Purge

The other day, I decided to bite the bullet.

I’ve complained for a while about people who pin/repin bad links on pinterest.

The kind that link to a home page rather than a specific post.

Or to a google search.

Or to nothing at all.

I first noticed it with the food pins. People would circulate these pins with pictures of scrumptious looking food, then when I clicked on it for the recipe….


Which is very annoying.

But there have been several articles circulating recently showing how it’s also unethical.

In fact, now it’s not uncommon for people to use pinterest photos on their own blogs without crediting the original source, as though they made whatever the pin was talking about them themselves.

They can do this because people repin and repin without checking the original source link.

I’ve found a lot of my pins just went to google.



That pretty family portrait? Someone shot it.

That yummy dessert? Someone developed it.

That neat subway art of your favorite quote? Someone created it.

And it wasn’t Google.

I’m as bad as anyone. I upload nail designs I’ve done straight from my phone. I don’t watermark my pics when I post them. It’s not because I don’t care – I’m just too lazy to figure out the watermarking part of my photo software, now that picnik is going away. But I’m going to start being better about it, because everyone deserves credit for their work.

Over the weekend, since SoldierMan is playing Army, I spent some time going through a few of my boards and deleting all the pins I had that didn’t link to the original source, or have a watermark crediting the creator. Not just the original home page, but the original post for that pic.

(By the way, I hate tumblr.)

I think my Harry Potter board shrank by 2/3. No joke. I was shocked.

And there’s still more to go.

Now, some things can’t be helped. I mean, there’s no way to know who started that “What I actually do” meme, right? We’re not Nazis here.

Now, deleting pins from my boards won’t remove them from the pinterest servers.

But it does mean that I won’t be the one circulating bad pins.

It’s as much as I can do, so that’s what I’ll do.


So I’m asking you to take a few minutes from your normal pinterest time (don’t give me that look, you know what I’m talking about) and go through some of your old pins and double-check to make sure they’re giving credit to the right people.

Delete a pin if it just goes to a generic home page (like meandmysoldierman.com) rather than a specific post.

Delete a pin if it goes to a search.

Delete a pin that goes to a tumblr, weheartit, or any of those other semi-pinterest-like sites that allow people to collect images without linking for credit.

If you make something and put it on your blog, pin it yourself. That way you know there’s at least one pin out there giving you the proper credit for it.

And for goodness’ sake, do not repin a pin without checking the link first. This is the cause of the problem, after all.

I’ve already said, I was as bad about doing this as anyone when I first got joined, so I’m pointing at me as well. But if we all just take a little bit of time to be proactive, we can clean up pinterest and protect people’s property.

And, if you feel like being a Good Samaritan and spreading the Pinterest Purge encouragement, feel free to use the image for your blog and the hashtag for your tweets.


  1. I have been noticing this a lot too. I always by pass those pins because I too feel it is unethical. If I pin something I make sure it goes back to the original post. But this is because I am quite anal about what I pin. I hate clutter. And cluttering boards with pins that I KNOW I will never make, or create, or do just seems useless to me. I think the most amount of pins I have on one board is 20. LOL.

    Thanks for posting this, because I think it is a big issue. And next time I create something, I am watermarking it for sure. Which means I have to find a replacement for Picnik. :/ I guess buying Photoshop is in my future.

  2. I(try to) never repin anything that doens't have the origianl post attached. I don't want the picture, I want the information it is advertising. That is why my travel board is mostly bare. Every pin i find for places i like has no information attached. I want to know how to get there, where exactly it is or whatever, not just a picture of it.

  3. My goodness YES!!! I keep finding this with dresses... i get "uploaded by user", what the heck kind of good does that do me? They uploaded a picture from their computer that they downloaded from the internet?? Wha?

  4. Nothing annoys me more than pins that aren't linked to the original post. The only time I don't really check for the links of pins are when they're quotes or those outfit pins. I think non-bloggers are probably to blame for all these crappy pins. =P

  5. I've started checking my pins before I repin them, and if I can't find what I'm searching for, I search for good articles/blogs on the topic to pin.

  6. Thanks for this post. I have been annoyed at not getting to an original post, but hadn't really thought about it beyond that. I did post your button on pinterest to test it, and it didn't link to your original post. It linked to the general blog. I figured out that this is because in order to link to the specific blog post you have to be viewing that post, i.e. click on the post title and then pin from there. So, if people will start taking the time to make sure the address in the address bar is the specific post's address we will no longer find ourselves being directed to "home" pages.

  7. Okay, I tried my advise and it worked. Once I clicked on the specific post and then pinned the picture. It went directly to the post. I hope you don't mind, I put your post on my blog and then added my own thing from there. Thanks again!


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