Pinterest Clamp Down on Spam

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Pinterest spam was looking like a big problem last week. How do things look now?

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:

Spam Pinterest Pin

Pinterest Spam Account

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.

Pinterest Popular Tab with No E-Commerce Pins

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.

Conclusion

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

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Comments

  1. I’ve noticed a less subtle kind of spammer: this user for example http://pinterest.com/davanastl/pins/ has 30k+ pins all that link to same weight loss product. The pinner even puts the link blatantly in every pin they make (the same weightloss product). Surely it wouldn’t be hard to code this kind of spam out of the system. For this reason I think Pinterest should ban shortened urls as spammer can hide their target destination. Pinterest could easily filter this kind of bulk pinning – if thousands of different pins all link to the same placed they’re likely to be spam aren’t they?
    Regards – Martin

    • Good spot, Martin. I agree — seems like it would be fairly easy to spot and filter this kind of thing. I’m a little surprised Pinterest haven’t already done that. Perhaps scaling the service to cope with their crazy growth rate has been taking priority.

  2. It looks like Pinterest has found a way to remove affiliate links right now.

  3. I have little sympathy for Pinterest.
    Their website is nothing but a vast expanse of image copyright violations. As long as they allow full-size images, unauthorized, I’ll be glad that spammers are giving them headaches. I’m actually rooting for the spammers this time.

  4. cmputrbluu says:

    The spam is ridiculous on Pinterest. My impression from just regularly using the site is that there has not been effective push back from Pinterest. They have a method to report individual pins. What about a method to report accounts?? I have gotten about 20, yes TWENTY, follows in the last few days from bogus accounts that all have the description “follow me if you like Jennifer Lopez.” It is annoying and really a buzz kill on my Pinterest experience. They better get a handle on it soon.

  5. Cracking down on spam is all well and good, but they are also preventing legitimate super users from doing their thing. We are ranked 35th in the world according to PinReach, yet we have been blocked by Pinterest from commenting our our OWN boards. Surely with all that engineering talent they should be able to stop mass/bulk commenting by users on other people’s boards without stopping brands and superusers from interacting with their OWN followers. Not so social for social networking, eh?

  6. Jim Eber says:

    Cierra Lomedico spammed me 3:08pm. 30 lb weight loss (click here to see the article) it was a bit url address.

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  1. [...] -Pinterest is clamping down on spam. link [...]

  2. [...] didn’t offer any specifics in its statement, but the unofficial Total Pinterest blog has reported today that spammy pins/images are no longer showing up on the “Popular” tab. Last week it was [...]

  3. [...] according to Matt Collins, the blogger at Total Pinterest who first discovered final-fantas07’s botting network, Pinterest has taken some preventative [...]

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