When we reviewed Pinterest’s ‘Popular’ tab last week, we were shocked to see that many of the pins there were tagged with the affiliate links of a Pinterest spammer. Our exposé got picked up by The Daily Dot and Business Insider.
Today, we’ve been looking again to see how the Pinterest spam issue has developed.
It turns out Pinterest have clamped down against the spamming. But not completely.
Spam Pins: No Longer on ‘Popular’ Tab
Last week it was very easy to find ‘popular’ pins with the spammer’s affiliate link. This week, looking through the ‘Popular’ tab, we couldn’t find any pins with his affiliate ID. Perhaps Pinterest have simply identified the pins with his ID and removed them from the ‘Popular’ list.
Browsing the ‘Everything’ tab, though, it didn’t take long to find a pin fitting our original spammer’s profile:
This time, the Amazon affiliate ID is different: womansdesign-20 instead of finalfantas07-20, but otherwise it’s the same deal.
The pin has received 7 repins and 2 likes so far, so still something, but far less impressive than the spam pins we looked at before.
E-Commerce Product Pins: Few on ‘Popular’ Tab
Interestingly, it seems to us that far fewer of the ‘Popular’ pins are now products taken directly from e-commerce sites. It’s not clear why this is. Perhaps this one spammer was responsible for a lot of the pins of this sort that were previously appearing. Or perhaps Pinterest has taken wider-reaching measures against pins linking to Amazon or e-commerce sites in general.
Spam Accounts: Still Present
We checked back just now on some of the accounts that we suspected had been set up by our Pinterest spammer. Would they have been deleted, we wondered?
First, some of the ‘repinner’ accounts that, in large numbers, had been repinning to make the spam pins popular.
All the ones we tried were still present:
Now, how about the accounts used to pin the items originally?
Rachel Rauchwerger… still there:
Nancy Nelon… still there:
And Sandra Stolley… also still there:
Original Spam Pins: Still Present Too
We looked at some of the pins that had been artificially boosted last week. They’re still there on the Pinterest site and still show a huge number of repins. So it looks like Pinterest has decided to leave them there for now. Perhaps they don’t want to delete things that legitimate users have repinned or liked.
It seems that Pinterest have got this particular spam problem under some control for now. Spam pins are still appearing, but seem to be garnering fewer repins than before and aren’t making it to the ‘Popular’ tab.
We’ll keep an eye on this issue and keep you updated when we have more news.
Photo courtesy of kodomut