Digital Age Journalism & Social Media Anthropology
4 boards from my account

Blogging my passion, Pinterest

This post was inspired by and is the result of a questionnaire presented to bloggers, event planners, photographers, social media experts and other professionals by a freelance writer seeking input and opinions on Pinterest etiquette. 
Pinterest research and blog posts:
I have done a substantial amount of research on Pinterest, have written several posts about it to date, and am a pinner myself. I have an extensive list of sources and resources that you may find additionally helpful for your project. You can view my Saturday articles as well as the source and resources lists, on Digital Brand Marketing posted on 3.17.12, 3.24.12, and 3.31.12.
Pinterest Bio:
As a blogger and visual artist myself, I was immediately drawn to this relatively new platform with the naive assumption that it would be like scrapbooking but on virtual boards, no cutting out from magazines, no glue and no trips to the crafts store and no in-depth knowledge of social media. After the beginning of an ongoing and thorough investigation about Pinterest and its inner workings, I have come to some very different conclusions and considerable legal concerns.
The top row of my 16 board account.

4 Boards from my account. Each image is credited on the board itself.

To answer your questions:
Q1. What bothers you about the way that people pin you work, photographs or ideas?
A1. What bothers me most is not that other people are pinning or repinning my work, photographs or ideas. What really concerns me is that it is very difficult for people to obtain clear guidelines on know how to pin properly, at all.
The reason for this is due to the fundamental lack of understanding about how Pinterest actually works. It may
appear to be an innocent, hobby like activity but it is just as complicated and intricate as any other social media
platform, if not more so. Transparency is the key. In my opinion, the founders of Pinterest were not clear in their ‘Terms of Services’ when they wrote them. There is considerable concern within the ‘investigative blogging
community’ about the current updates not really being sufficient to create the needed transparency to make this
platform user friendly. 
4 boards from my account

4 Boards from my account. Each image is credited on the board itself.

Q2. What would you encourage Pinterest users to do before they pin something?
A2. I encourage pinners to learn how to pin properly. How can they do this? Research, research, research.
I know that this will seem like an ordeal for pinners to do this but I can simplify this by sharing the work I have done. Since the original and revised ‘Terms of Service’ are so heavily laden with legal language, I strongly suggest that anyone who wants to pin read the set of posts by A.F.MarCom. Angelique and Friends turn inscrutable legal language into pedestrian terms in:
• Pinterest and Copyright Explained in Plain Talk – Part One: The difference between “pinning” and “uploading”
• Pinterest and Copyright Explained in Plain Talk – Part 2: Why Pinterest needs perpetual rights to display your work
• Pinterest and Copyright Explained in Plain Talk – Part 3: How YOU should behave on Pinterest
• Pinterest and Copyright Explained in Plain Talk – Part 4: How artists can protect their work despite widespread sharing

I also suggest potential pinners view the two short videos by Jonathan Bailey at the beginning and end of this post: Pinterest Part Three: The Perplexed Pinner

I would be remiss if I did not include the extraordinary Resource Guide of 89 Pinterest posts compiled by Tom Treanor and mention the Pinterest LinkedIn Group that we and many other pinners belong to.
4 boards from my account

4 Boards from my account. Each image is credited on the board itself.

Q3. What kind of content is unacceptable for users to pin?
A3. This is a direct quote from the Pinterest website’s Pin Etiquette page and then my comment:
Report Objectionable Content
“We do not allow nudity, hateful content, or content that encourages people to hurt themselves. If you find content that violates our Terms of Service or Acceptable Use Policy you can submit the content for review by pushing the ‘Report Content’ link.”

The first sentence of this quote is very clear and requires no further explanation or research. But in the second sentence, we run into the same legal issues discussed about the ‘Terms of Services’ and ‘Acceptable Use Policy’ in Q2.
4 Boards from my account

4 Boards from my account. Each image is credited on the board itself.

Q4. In terms of giving credit where credit is due, what advice would you lend to people using Pinterest?
A4. To quote from the Pinterest website and then add my own comment:
Credit Your Sources
“Pins are the most useful when they have links back to the original source. If you notice that a pin is not sourced correctly, leave a comment so the original pinner can update the source. Finding the original source is always preferable to a secondary source such as Image Search or a blog entry.”

Also, there is a difference between crediting the person whose content is in a pinned image and the source of the image itself. Which one is the proper credit?

Here is a fantastic blog that explains how to get the proper credit:

If this very clever search method still leaves you empty handed, do not use the image. There are millions of other images to choose from, both your own original ones and those of fellow pinners.
So always follow these ‘suggestions’:
• check that your source is correct
• ask direct permission if possible or when necessary
• if both fail, find another image

If you do not follow the above to the ‘letter of the law’, I believe that you can leave yourself open to possible legal problems related to copyright infringement.
Pinterest is a platform that has qualities and issues that I am very passionate about. I hope my answers are helpful. I would be delighted to discuss this topic further with anyone who has thoughts, suggestions, ideas, or disagreements.
Digital Brand Marketing
Pinterest Part Three: The Perplexed Pinner
Resource Guide of 89 Pinterest posts compiled by Tom Treanor and mention the Pinterest LinkedIn Group
Terms of Service
Acceptable Use Policy
Protect Photos with Google Search by Image

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