blogging controversy . pinterest

June 23, 2011 separator Uncategorized

I have recently become obsessed with Pinterest. I have finally found the solution to my out-of-control bookmark lists and endless email drafts to save links when I’m on other computers. I love it for finding inspiration from others that I might have otherwise missed – I can only read so many blogs in a day!!! 

The Uh Oh

I had never thought twice about pinning something until this past week, when I started seeing all sorts of complaints and discussions surrounding copyright and attribution issues. This Decor8 post discusses some complaints from artist she featured because they don’t support/approve of sites like Pinterest. I also caught wind of a discussion on Link With Love‘s Facebook page regarding similar issues. 

Basically, people don’t like having their work shared without credit. I totally get that. I already addressed it here. That’s totally understandable, and as a blogger and jewelry-designer, I understand how infuriating it can be to be copied. Ripped off. Totally hosed. 

The Huh?

What I don’t necessarily understand in this situation is the big to-do over Pinterest and other such things. I am under the impression that through all the pinning, re-pinning, and liking, Pinterest preserves the original link. Am I incorrect? If I am correct in this understanding, then what’s all the fuss about? I don’t have any problem at all with people pinning things off my site for the aforementioned reasons.

Please weigh in. Let’s hear from you all – the blogger, the casual readers, the artisans – everybody. I’m intrigued


  1. I’m all for it.

    I’ve been on Pinterest for only a week and it has led me to so many new blogs and tutorials, websites and shops, that I never would have found without it.

    I now follow more of these on Facebook and know more blogs to go to for craft and textile help.

    Also, as a teacher, there are countless possibilities now for students to create collaborative online collages that link back to the original source, which in a sense removes the issue of plagiarism in the classroom.

    In my opinion, the only problem with Pinterest is that I now have far too many more things to keep me occupied on the internet.

  2. Thank you EVERYBODY for the wonderful input! I have officially changed the way I pin since reading your comments. I now go backwards till I can find the original source to credit. If it came from a Tumblr (hate!), and I can’t find it, then I don’t pin it!

    – Lindsay

  3. I pin with a passion! Not wildly, madly, deeply, but whatever tickles my fancy and I think should be shared.
    Yeah, the original link IS preserved, in pretty much every case, so the only “downside” is TOO MUCH TRAFFIC.
    Unless you pin something straight from google image search or the url’s of the actual bloggers’ pictures, the original author gets credit, traffic and recognition 95 out of 100 times. What’s not to love?
    But I might stand corrected as I am anything but an expert pinterest user. I just pin things I want to see “out there” and enjoyed by a wider audience.

  4. I love Pinterest, it helps me organize my likes and discoveries, but I also find it supremely frustrating most of the time. I can’t count how many instances I’ve come to a dead end while trying to locate the original source for photos I find there. They may be linked to a source, but it’s pretty often not the original source and I don’t know about you, but I don’t consider a link to a jpg image a good way of crediting anyone. I would love to see the creator’s name mentioned in the captions and a link to a web page or blogpost, or at least website/blog home page so I know who took the photos and in what context they were used (not always important, but helpful nonetheless).

    But it’s all a bit of wishful thinking, isn’t it? The Internet and sites like Pinterest and Tumblr have made it so very easy to ignore copyright and crediting, whether it’s done consciously or not.

    best wishes,

  5. Something that I’ve come to realize while using Pinterest is that A LOT of bloggers don’t properly credit or link to the things they find online. When I try to follow someone’s pins to the original source, I often end up at a dead-end. Perhaps Pinterest and other tools/aggregators aren’t the problem, but they do make the real issues with credit and copyrights and whatnot more apparent.

  6. I’m a complete Pinterest addict, as well as an artist, and I’ve found three things to be true since I started using it:
    *Pinterest is excellent advertising – it’s alerted me to countless blogs, artists, craftspeople etc I may never have found otherwise – I pay little or no attention to ads in blogs.
    *Pinterest has helped me locate the source of quite a few images I’d saved to my hard drive before I understood much about metadata! Also, *Pinterest helps keep people honest – if I pinned an image of another artist’s work and tried to pass it off as my own, it would be instantly obvious to a LOT of people, also if I used someone else’s image in my blog or website it would likely eventually get pinned by someone else and I’d be exposed.
    In my experience, Pinterest users who respectfully credit images far outnumber people who don’t bother. Also there is so much duplication that if one person doesn’t bother, you’ll likely see the same image another few times on your travels, properly credited.

  7. Pininterest at least automatically creates a link back to where you found it, which is more than a blog can do. If I know the original source, I try to stick it in there. But realistically, non-attribution is a reality of the Internet.

  8. I don’t really understand the fuss either.

    I guess I consider it a lesser of evils… Anytime you put something on the internet you are taking a risk with it and
    I’d rather something of mine was on Pinterest than Tumblr as the link to my sites is on there and things can get so easily lost in Tumblr.

  9. I’m on the fence. I love Pinterest and it has seriously improved my ability to keep track of ideas. On the other hand, as an artist, it is quite frustrating to see your work posted and not see AT LEAST your name in the description. Regardless if it’s directed back to me or not.
    There are pins for me under my name, my blog name and my flickr name and while some people do add “Photograph by Tina Crespo” or “Recipe by Tina Crespo at Townabovewater” others just straight up retype verbatim what MY description was of the photograph. Hmm, kind of not cool.
    I love the idea behind the creation of the website, and the builders had good intentions behind it, but the users must be the ones aware of where they are getting their pins.
    If you don’t know, say you don’t know and ask “Does anybody know the origin of this?!”
    That may seem like a hassle to pinners, but it means a lot to those of us who get lost in the shuffle.

    That’s my spin on it 🙂

  10. Yeah I totally agree with you – I don’t understand why somebody wouldn’t “support” a site like Pinterest. As long as you give fair credit to the picture, I think it’s fine. I guess it’s the “fair credit” issue that comes up over and over because of the copy cats out there who attribute the work to themselves.

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