I Have A Bone To Pick With Pinterest

        Yesterday I posted about receiving a threat from Pinterest that my account was suspended and will possibly be terminated because I pinned a photo of Benedict Cumberbatch that I had seen on Tumblr and the photographer, Armando Gallo, reported it. I had never heard of this photographer before yesterday nor was his name or credit attached to said photo of Ben or else it would’ve still been there. Today I receive another email stating another pin of Ben had been removed, but that this was not a complaint directed at me, but at another user whom I had repinned this from. The link from the second photo is very similar to the first one so I assume both pics came from the same master post on Tumblr.
        I’m not pissed or disappointed because of photos of Benedict being removed from my account. My beef is how it was handled. As a writer I would be agitated if my poems were passed along the internet and someone was legit trying to take credit for it. On all of my work I have my name attached and if someone were to crop out my name, I’d be mad, but only if that were the case. If it’s friendly sharing with my name still visible, I have no problem. I want my work to be shared and I want people to know it’s MY work. As far as that’s concerned, I can see where Mr. Gallo is coming from, but it would be nice if he had realized that I’m only pinning this pic because it’s of Benedict Cumberbatch and not because I wanted people to think I took it personally. I had no intentions of stealing someone’s work and I did not pass it off as my own. I would like to think that’s how most people who share things on the internet are. They’re sharing because of the content that they like and nothing malicious. I feel a more appropriate way he could’ve went about it is to comment to say “Hey this is my photo and I have no intentions of it being shared online or on Pinterest.” That’s fine. Delete. The only problem is, dude do you know it’s all over Tumblr and that Tumblr is way bigger than Pinterest will ever be? I had once repinned something from another user that was an old picture from about the 1930s or 40s and a woman commented that it was a pic of her grandmother and didn’t want it shared. I went back and looked at the original pin and she had left that same comment there and on the others that had repinned from the original source. I feel that’s how you handle something like that and not try and shut people down. Now that’s screwing with my work that I have pinned on there and the following that I have that I’m trying to reach with my poetry/writing/blogging career.
       In the email sent to me from Pinterest they informed me that this is my third complaint. As far as I know this is my second. The last one took place last year and I probably should have raised a stink on that one more than I am with this one. Now with this complaint I have become aware that Armando is a real person, this other person seems to be someone trolling the internet reporting people about one two line poem only. This person goes by the name Shaun Shane and the poem is about a glass tongue or some shit. Again I found this on Tumblr and I remember there being no credit attached to it. There’s tons of quotes floating around Tumblr (and the internet as a whole) who have no name attached. I had never heard of this poet before that time and really the only thing I know about him is his reputation for reporting everyone about this one. single. poem. If you search him on Google that’s mainly all you will find. There’s barely anything about any other works, it’s mainly about his trolling and his glass tongue. He’s reported people on everything from random sites that I’ve never heard of to Twitter. Why Pinterest never looked into that is beyond me. It also amazes me with both Shaun and Armando if you search them neither really truly has a Pinterest account. Shaun’s is really weird. He has an account that just has his name attached. No followers, no pins, no boards. Just his name. Also if you search his name you’ll find about two or three other people that have only one board titled “Shaun Shane” and nothing else. To me that screams troll, but I could be wrong. As far as Armando goes he also has an account with nothing on it. Do they set up accounts just to search for their material and report people? Isn’t that an abuse of the DMCA? I know I can’t be the only one so does Pinterest notice the abuse of the individuals that do this? Are they able to do anything about that?
       For the next few weeks my account will be suspended due to me pinning something someone else had removed the source from. From this experience all it tells me is that people need to double check, triple check, and quadruple check whatever they want to pin or even repin, do internet research on said pin, and probably write a two page essay on why you want to pin it. That sounds ridiculous. What’s even more ridiculous is that with my account suspended I’m still getting a ton of push notifications of people following me and repinning my pins. I have 100+ boards, 66,000+ pins, and 5,000+ followers. I’ve been apart of this community since almost the beginning and in a silly way feel betrayed. I have become friends with lots of people through Pinterest. More than anything that makes me mad about this is I have my own photography, poetry, and art on my account. If this is how Pinterest treats people I no longer want to share my work on their site. This suspension prevents me from removing my personal work. If my account is suspended it should be on all fronts. I shouldn’t be able to do anything on my account and no one should be able to pin or follow me. It’s that simple. From now on I’ll share my work with all other major social media outlets. It’s a shame because I have a stronger following on Pinterest compared to even Twitter, Facebook, and both of my Tumblr accounts combined. Once this suspension is lifted there will be major changes to my account and I’ll use that medium to direct more traffic to Tumbr, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
         When I first joined Pinterest I was just as obsessed as the next person (probably more so). It was the place I could connect with my fellow fangirls and talk about Benedict Cumberbatch, Hiddles, The Beatles, etc. I started my Pinterest account when I was at an extremely stressful job and it helped me relax. Anyone else had to deal with a lot of crap with Pinterest or are they just picking on me and a select few? Oh well, I’ll always have Tumblr. It’s cooler over here anyways and at least I’ve never been called racial slurs here or any other social media platform the way I have been on Pinterest in the past. No one in Pinterest wanted to look into that for me but get their panties in a twist over Benedict Cumberbatch.

-Asia Aneka Anderson

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