So I started off this morning with my normal routine, which included checking my email, reading through some blogs in my feed reader and having my morning coffee. I decided to visit Pinterest for a change, because I wanted to pad my recipe bookmarks and I haven’t done that in a while.
Things looked completely normal. All the food pr0n, pages of deliciousness in the form of lovely photographed food. I did what I normally do, which is start clicking on things that looked/sounded delicious so I could bookmark it. I clicked on one thing, a steak marinade I believe, and it took me to this site that was obviously a spam/phishing site made to look like Pinterest, telling me that they’ve successfully verified the authenticity of my account, and that I should choose one of the vouchers below as a thank you for contributing to Pinterest.
I went through about 10 pins of 10 different “recipes” that all redirected to this obvious spam site. Really? I mean, the photos of the food may look delicious that you feel the need to repin it, but PLEASE check that the links you’re repinning are actually linking back to the original recipes! I only frequent the Food and Drink pins, but I’ve read that the same things are happening on other parts of Pinterest. I’ve read things like people pinning things and then they’re repinned with affiliate links attached to them.
Also in my Pinterest quest this morning, I happened upon some more photos of food that looked delicious. I saw that they linked to “erins-recipes.blogspot.com”, but when you clicked into the photo, it actually linked to a website called YummyTastyRecipes. It’s a tumblr (as evidenced by its favicon, though it could be another phish) that slurps photos from food bloggers and then pins them to Pinterest, without linking back to the original recipe. Instead, you get sent to this “blog” that says:
Hey everyone, I find these really tasty foods all the time on the web, this one looks really cool don’t you think?
Im always asked where people can find recipes and how to make them, I use something called TotalRecipeSearch
You can download TotalRecipeSearch and find thousands of recipes to make similar to what I post on my blog.
Conveniently, if you scroll down to the bottom of the page, there’s a link to “Report This Blog”. When you click on it, you’re taken to a blah generic form that asks for your email address and “comment”, saying “Share your feedback, suggestions, problems. Report unusual activity with this blog, the more specific you can be, the faster we can act.” I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure that Tumblr doesn’t ask for your email address when they give you the option to report a blog. So I went to the main URL of the site, and all that’s there is a link to Report This Blog. I then went to erins-recipes.blogspot.com, and there are no posts there.
What astounds me is the number of people who’re blindly repinning spam and scams. Seriously people! It’s really not that hard. Some people have talked about losing business or credibility with their online shops because their original links are getting repinned with affiliate links and spam attached to them. I’ve maybe found 2 actual recipes to repin and bookmark, but even still, I can’t help but wonder, if I were to pin a recipe for my own blog, would some bot repin it with some bullshit attached to it?
So this is why I’ve made the decision to leave Pinterest. The whole copyright issue that happened (and in turn made Pinterest change their terms of service) was bad enough, but this just takes the cake, for me.
All I wanted to do was pin and bookmark tasty recipes. Was that too much to ask?