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BizReport : Law & Regulation : April 16, 2012

Pinterest easiest socnet to spam, says spammer

Build it and they will come - spammers, that is, as the burgeoning social network Pinterest is finding out. The popular image-sharing website has recently penned a blog to encourage users to help them address the issue.

by Helen Leggatt

"Steve" from the U.S. claims to have been making around $1,000 per day from Pinterest.

The 24-year old, unemployed, self-confessed Pinterest spammer creates multiple accounts and bots to Pin images with affiliate links. Using his other accounts and bots ensures those images are Re-Pinned, appearing to make them more popular. These images then appear on Pinterest's "Popular" page and are seen by thousands of the image-sharing network's users.

He makes his money when users click through from the affiliate lined Pinterest images to Amazon, or wherever, and make purchases.

When asked by The Daily Dot whether he thought Pinterest was easier to spam than other networks Steve said, "Pinterest is by FAR the easiest social network to spam right now. Quite possibly the easiest ever to spam. It requires almost no work to get started and no money to invest. You just have to know how the system works and how you can fix it to your advantage."

That may now have changed as Pinterest announces fighting spam is a top priority.

A Pinterest spokesperson told MarketingLand, "As a growing service, Pinterest is not immune to challenges faced by sites across the web, including spam. However, it is a tremendous priority for us to quickly address them. Our engineers are actively working to manage issues as they arise and are revisiting the nature of public feeds on the site to make it harder for fake or harmful content to get into them."

Pinterest is also appealing to users to report suspicious Pins using the "Report Pin" button.

"Reporting a pin helps everyone by removing the pin from public feeds. A reported pin also gives us information about the suspicious account and the spam links they're trying to promote," advises Pinterest in a recent blog post about the spam issue.

Tags: affiliate marketing, Pinterest, social network, social sharing, spam

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