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Websites can block Pinterest pinning, protect content

By Stephanie Medeiros     Feb 21, 2012 in Internet
Pinterest is gaining steam as a go-to social network for its easy to use functionality and visually pleasing layout. However, websites are starting to make rules regarding Pinterest pinning.
Social network and content sharing website Pinterest launched late last year, however, it has already gained enough users to be compared to the likes of Twitter and Google+ growth wise. Also, it has tapped into a demographic most entrepreneurs either tend to forget or neglect: women online, Pinterest's biggest demographic being women in the United States. While Pinterest continues to grow, the start-up has now decided to set some guidelines--or, etiquette--when it comes to sharing.
Pinterest is allowing websites to block pinning, the action of re-sharing content across the Internet on Pinterest. According to LL Social's Josh Davis, 99 percent of the content found on Pinterest, " actually posted in violation of both the law as well as Pinterest’s own terms of service," and Davis likens this to the late '90s and Napster, but affirms that Pinterest won't be shut down anytime soon because of its popularity and how it pushes traffic back to the original source.
This sort of sharing is not so different from other popular "discovery" networks like StumbleUpon, which allow users to upload websites, images, video, and other links to the StumbleUpon archive for others to find and re-share. The Terms of Service for Pinterest and StumbleUpon are similar, with the user promising the content is theirs and they have permission to share it. Of course, that's rarely ever the case, but, little is done to deter that.
Pinterest allows websites to use a certain piece of code to block pinning, as reported by Mashable. On top of that, websites can embed a "Pin It" button to their website to feed direct traffic to their website, and as Mashable puts it, giving a "permission slip" to users to share the content. And to fight back against blog plagiarizing, Pinterest is limiting captions to 500 characters.
Recently, Pinterest also quietly announced they would stop adding affiliate links to users pin links, which was garnering a small profit for the start-up without their users realizing it at first. Also reported by Josh Davis, Pinterest's CEO, Ben Silbermann, contacted the blogger and said Pinterest ceased affiliate links a week prior to the discovery and wish to remain completely transparent with their users, Daily Dot reported.
While some websites might block pinning from Pinterest, most websites will more than likely choose to embed a Pin It button instead. Though blocking pinning might seem like a good idea to protect content, Pinterest is aiming toward a new sharing etiquette online that many creative types and websites can embrace.
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