Pinterest Anti-Spam Measures: Are They Enough?

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One of the social sharing sites experiencing great growth these days is Pinterest, an online bulletin board where users can submit their favourite images. It has been rocketing recently, and with its viral nature, no doubt that in the future, it will invite and attract spammers to take advantage of its features.

Before this comes to an issue, Pinterest has been clearly addressing this mounting problem. The company has been developing anti-spam measures to eradicate suspicious content and links to further resolve reported complaints and criticisms. Pinterest blog reads, “Fighting spam is a top priority as we continue to grow and we really appreciate the reports we’ve received so far. “

There have been marked anti-spam measures that you’ll encounter while browsing Pinterest. Some of their methods are as follows:

Pinning Too Much? Pause for a Captcha Verification!

As I was trying to upload an image with a link (image souce) in the description, Pinterest required me to enter a captcha code.

However, this measure hasn’t been functioning really commendable at all. After I entered the code, description went all blank and basically just pointed me back to the pin box where I have to upload the pin again. As of this writing, some claims have reported that this glitch is already being addressed by Pinterest.

To add, one of the problems with Pinterest anti-spam measure is its accuracy to really recognize human users. For some reason, Pinterest verification program did not verify me as a human user right after entering the correct characters printed on the Captcha box. It happened twice and I’m quite sure that both my keyboard and common sense were working right on both instances.

No to “Suspicious Links “in the Description Box

As Pinterest can function both like a search engine and a social network, it is important to pay attention to adding a description to your pin, in order to increase the chances of your content getting found (only available to users who have set their Pinterest Profile visibility on).

Amazon Affiliate Links

Given this feature, some marketers find the description box as a paradise of affiliate links. Recently, it has been reported that Pinterest is temporarily blocking Amazon affiliate links as spam, not only in the description box, but also on the pin per se, also stripping out affiliate IDs so marketers won’t get commissions. As Pinterest’s spam measure, you will be prompted to this “spam page” notification once you clicked on a pin with an Amazon link. Links

As Pinterest becomes aware of the Amazon affiliate links “spamming” around,  it seems that Pinterest has also considered blocking some link shortener services like It is likely that since Pinterest is stripping out affiliate links, they assume that spammers will find their way to sneak out on this anti-spam measure by using redirects and cloacking links for all amazon affiliate links.

However, since blocking links might raise an issue especially for users who are vulnerable and innocent pinning and adding bit ly links in their description box, it is likely that Pinterest shows a different spam page notification.

With this notification page, pinterest gives users the options to either continue visiting the pinned link or just go back to the main page of Pinterest.

Too Much Discussion in the Comments Section Can Lock You Out

Pinterest can be considered as a form of social sharing site and a blogging platform. However, doesn’t this anti-spam measure defeat Pinterest’s social purpose?

Recently, an administrator of a Pinterest Board for special needs services named Heidi blogged about how Pinterest locked her out of being able to comment for as much as 24 hours after actively trying to create a discussion on her pins. According to her, “Unfortunately, Pinterest is not happy with a single person making comments at once – even on their own boards – and if you even three in short order, you can be ‘locked out’ of being able to comment for as much as 24 hours.”

Spam According to Pinterest Users: Report a Pin

This is by far the most obvious anti-spam measure that Pinterest has created. According to their blog, “You don’t need to be concerned if a spam account follows you on Pinterest, but you should definitely feel empowered to let us know about it.”

But of course, the final judgement still falls under Pinterest Management’s discretion.

These are just some methods Pinterest formed to ensnare spammers. Just like some regular Pinterest users like me, I’ve always hope for a better blogging, social sharing, and social networking environment.  Which of these measures have you experienced, by intention or not, so far?

Kristel Cuenta
Kristel Cuenta is the Social Media Manager for Kairay Media, a Social Media Marketing company. When not on Social Media sites, Kit manages a number... Read Full Bio
Kristel Cuenta
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  • This is a good start I think. I love Pinterest and just use it as a social network rather than for marketing and have noticed that it has the potential to be become a spam-fest like Twitter.

  • Good to see that Pinterest is taking a thought out approach to spam prevention. Many sites have really only added preventative measures to solve immediate threats and as an after thought, leading to fails and issues.

    Awesome article!

  • Clearly, Pinterest had to start somewhere. And this is a good start. I think their anti-spamming measures will become more refined as time passes. Measures that work will be enhances. Measures that don’t will be fixed or cast aside. Nice post!

  • Whay spammers are everywhere? I am so glad that at least Pinterest has ways to anticipate spamming. This sharing site is one of my favorites and I am glad how prepared they are to prevent spamming 🙂

  • frankly, I don’t really know how to use pinterest so mainly, I use it as a bulletin board. what surprises me is how many people repin my pins…how they find my site…is beyond my understanding as of this moment. hahaha

  • This is very helpful, though I still don’t have an account on Pinterest yet, Thanks for sharing those stuff!

    • Shoot me your email address to brent (at) for any invites needed.

  • I would love to have Pinterest but I think I won’t be able to manage it that well.

  • Undoubtedly, Pinterest is growing and mostly users are women. I like the fact that this one focuses more on images and that’s how I see it. Most people enjoy sharing and pinning all sorts of images that they think are essential. Honestly, I’m totally nuts about it until someone invited me to join and so I did. I like the fact that I’ve seen cool stuff there.

  • I’m a pinterest addict but I didn’t know this captcha measure is being used cuz I’ve never stumbled over it.

  • I think Pinterest made a little mistake when they’re just starting. The pinning of images is very inviting for copyright glitch. Good to know they disclose about this since they’re the hottest social network right now. Thank’s Kristel for sharing this experience. =)

  • I think the idea is that the captcha screen comes up if you put too many links in your pin descriptions although I’m not 100% sure. It could just be random. I’ve seen it a few times but I do pin a lot of content – blog posts mainly. It’s excellent for infographics.

  • Thanks for this informative article. I personally pin a lot recently and started getting those captcha notification.

  • Yvonne Cato

    This morning, 1st time a Captcha appeared pinning “Marshmallow Pops” from innocent women’s blog site. Pin was for “Jack’s Summer Vacation” Board for grandson’s visit. Entered 2x & when allowed, text was gone. Captcha randomly appeared earlier scrolling Popular: “a robot said that you looked fishy” & asked “Human”. No pins, clicked a few Likes. Closed & opened again.

    From reading this, assume I’m targeted because I have Pastebot app on my iPad1. To save myself time & repetition, wrote Pastebot text for Nudity & Pornography about NOT pinning images to paste into Comments after Reporting pin. Pasting was only sporadically, randomly successful due to “Unable to…at this time…try again later…” message.

    Last night copied a Comment posted with typos, deleted, repasted, corrected errors & reposted. When I tried to do again on another Comment, got message & was unable comment on anything! This is the only way I know of to correct a Comment without deleting & manually retyping in entirety as there is no Editing function for

    I’m far, far from a spammer & find this extremely irritating & insulting. Pinterest has cast a way, way too wide net. I will contact them; doubt a response because I’m sure they don’t remotely care about a small fish like me. And YES, definitely a FISH as I was told so by the Pinterest Robot!

  • Too bad until now Pinterest is still being abused by robots. 🙁