Protecting Yourself from Stolen Pins on Pinterest
Bloggers lead amazing lives! To have a career where you can pour your creativity and various passions in life into a business is a unique gift. It’s not without a lot of work and complexity, but the joy and satisfaction of using those creative juices to produce the “perfect post” is hard to match.
One of the largest disappointments I see my clients have is when all of that creativity, time, energy, and pride of ownership somehow get derailed because of unforeseen issues like technical struggles, issues with partnerships, or at the very worst end of the spectrum….plagiarism!
When all of your hard work gets stolen by an anonymous cyber-thief, it can be really disheartening. I see it happen more often than I would like on Pinterest. There are so many unscrupulous people taking pins and publishing them as their own, only to divert the traffic that your hard work should have brought to you. Uggh… it’s just wrong.
This article will give you a step-by-step guide on how to protect your intellectual property on Pinterest and keep your hard work doing work for you….not the would-be thief!
Why should you care?
I hear some clients say “ahhh…who cares. It doesn’t really affect me.” While the effect of plagiarism may not be immediately apparent, not being stalwart in protecting your IP can lead to a number of issues if and when you decide to put your foot down. It is definitely best to always protect what is yours even if the consequences of doing nothing seem to be small.
Many times, scammers will use your brand as part of their strategy of stealing your content. They try to look and sound like you as much as possible, so your followers will click on it and provide them with click-bait money. Your brand is too important for fraud.
If nothing else, it’s the sheer principle of the situation that the work is yours and those scammers shouldn’t benefit from you as an amazing business operator!!!
Here is a s step-by-step tutorial for finding your stolen pins on Pinterest:
1. Log in to your Pinterest account.
2. Identify one of your pins to research.
3. Click on that pin to open the “full pin detailed view.”
4. In the bottom right corner of the pin image, you will see a little circle with a magnifying glass in it. That is Pinterest’s visual search. Clicking that tells Pinterest to search for other pins that look like this pin.
In this example, you will see the original pin on the left hand side and 3 other pins on Pinterest that are obviously using the exact same image. Not all pins that match are stolen. However, when you click on the 3 fraudulent images, you will be taken to a blogspot site which redirects to who-knows-what other sites (I didn’t let my browser redirect that many times). Definitely stolen pins!
5. To thwart this thief’s efforts, hover over the stolen pin and click on the 3 dots at the bottom of the pin. From there select “Report Pin.”
6. In the “Report Pin” dialog box that comes up, select “My intellectual property,” and click next. In the dialog, you will normally choose “This infringes on my copyright” if the stolen content is one of your pins.
7. From there you will be directed to a page for “Copyright Infringement Notification.” Fill out this form completely, including links to your pin and your original blog article.
8. Under “Identify the material you want removed,” the infringing pin URL will automatically be populated. You can add up to 100 additional URL’s if you found multiple instances of the plagiarized pin.
9. Once you have entered all URL’s for the stolen pins…now comes a decision. You have 3 options here.
- “Remove all but mine” – This option asks Pinterest to remove all the stolen pins you identified but keeps the content in your account intact. This is the selection used most of the time.
- “Remove all” – Selecting this box tells Pinterest to remove all content with identical copies including your own. You may want to use this if the plagiarism has grown out of control, and you would like to start over with a new pin.
- “Strike” – Here’s your chance to tell Pinterest that these accounts are cheaters! If you select the “Strike” box, Pinterest will log an infringement against the offending account. Multiple infringements may lead to Pinterest taking the account down entirely. Not every stolen pin may warrant a strike though. At times, legitimate bloggers may have simply made a mistake or done something unknowingly. I don’t usually add the strike to those accounts I can see are legit blogger accounts. For those accounts that are blatantly trying to steal from me though, I definitely select the strike box to try and get them removed from the platform.
10. Fill out the remaining fields and click “submit.”
That’s it! Pinterest will now email you updates as they work through their research. In the end, they will notify you that they have removed the stolen content entirely! You are now a superhero and protector from evil! But keep reading because there is one more detail you should know.
How often should I check for stolen Pinterest pins?
My experience is that if you submit dozens of stolen reports in a single day, Pinterest may put a block on your account. Why do they do that to the good guy? I have no idea??? With that in mind though, my recommendation is to be methodical and consistent with your approach to IP protection. At NBVA, we submit up to 25 reports per month. That number seems to be an appropriate amount for Pinterest to deal with, without somehow flagging your account while the research takes place. Regular process and submittals is the key.
I know methodical and regular tasks scream “help, I need a VA!” I certainly can help. My team is prepared and ready to take on those plagiarists on your behalf. Please reach out if we can help!
I would encourage you to submit your first report right away and feel the sheer joy of thwarting crime and protecting all your hard work!!!