The Beauty and Danger of Pinterest

The Beauty and Danger of PinterestPinterest has become the Justin Bieber of social networks in the past few months—everyone is talking about it. According to Mashable, Pinterest is driving more traffic as a referrer than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined; some even say “pinning” is the new “liking” now.  It’s aesthetically pleasing, easy to navigate, and easily shared. In fact, it might just be too easy.

Galen Moore, web editor at The Boston Business Journal, recently took a close look at Pinterest’s user agreement. While it’s exceedingly easy to post any photo, it’s probably safe to say that most users won’t have noticed that Pinterest reserves the right to sell images its users upload, with the legal responsibility of potential copyright violations falling in the laps of those users. This means if Pinterest sells a photo you uploaded that you didn’t own—you’d face the consequences, even though you personally never profited.

Taking a proactive approach to the situation, Pinterest has started offering a snippet of code this week to let sites opt out of sharing their content/letting their content be shared with the network. Anyone who tried to pin a link to the site would just see an error message stating that the site doesn’t allow pinning. This wouldn’t, however, prevent someone from downloading a photo and then uploading it from their own files. In addition, with such beautiful linking potential, not many sites will probably want to block themselves off from anyone wanting to pin.

It’d probably be a little shocking if Pinterest’s quick rise to social stardom didn’t involve a few wrinkles that needed ironing out. In the meantime, pin with care!