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Stolen pins on Pinterest can pose a big problem if left unresolved. I am here today to show you how to find and report stolen pins on Pinterest for 2021.
A few weeks ago I noticed that my Pinterest traffic for a few particular pins had suddenly dropped dramatically. Then one day I logged in and saw in my own feed a pin using my own photo, but linking back to a different website than my own. Of course, a shady website at that.
What had happened?
They stole one of my most popular pins and were using that photo to drive traffic to their own spammy website.
I immediately took action on that and I am going to show you how to do the same, so that you can protect your hard work and effort you’ve put into creating your pins and brand.
Should I worry about people stealing my pins on Pinterest?
Some of you might be wondering: Is it really a big problem if people are stealing my pins on Pinterest?
It is a problem because:
- They are making your account less trustworthy in front of your readers. If someone clicks on a stolen pin thinking they are clicking over to your website, but instead they are taken to an obscure site, they will lose a bit of trust in you and your brand. Even if you had nothing to do with that shady website.
- They are diluting your traffic and brand. Pin thieves will usually (most likely) steal your most popular pins, not the ones that don’t perform really well. So they are praying on the fact that you already get a lot of traffic from that pin. And they’re taking away some of that traffic over to their own scam website. Which is why you might suddenly notice a drop in traffic when several people are stealing your pins. And why it’s so important to take action!
- Pinterest might start seeing you as less of an authority and give less trust to your account, when there are lots of your pins driving back to these shady websites.
- It is not fair to you. You’ve worked so hard to create those pins and to build your brand. It’s unfair to let a few ill-intended people ruin that for you. Fortunately, Pinterest makes it really easy for you to get those pins back!
How do I find my stolen pins on Pinterest?
Let’s get into the process of finding your stolen pins on Pinterest first.
Now if you’ve had your account for a while, you have likely acquired a substantial amount of pins. So I wouldn’t recommend wasting hours upon hours of doing this process for every single one of your pins.
However, I do recommend going into your Pinterest account analytics and finding your top performing pins. And do this process for those top pins on your account.
Or if you have a super popular pin that has suddenly dropped a lot in reach, I would especially look at those too.
Now that you’ve identified your top pins, open up one of them.
On the bottom right of your pin image, you will find this little search icon. Click on that icon:
Now you will be able to see tons of similar pins to the one you searched for. A lot of them will be your own pins, or similar pins from other legit accounts. What you want to do is hover your mouse over a pin and see if the link on it is your website link.
When you notice one of your pin images has a different website link when you hover it – that’s a stolen pin!
They are using your pins to divert your traffic to their own websites:
For example, one of the accounts that stole my pins were diverting traffic to their own shady Etsy shop where they were selling completely different presets. They had 0 sales, so fortunately they hadn’t had a chance to scam anyone. But this might lead some of your audience to think that your own account is not legit. So what now?
Now that you’ve identified any stolen pins, here is what to do next.
How do I report a pin on Pinterest?
Now it’s time to report that stolen pin to Pinterest, so that they can take appropriate measures.
First thing you need to do is click on that stolen pin. Then click on the three dots at the top of the pin.
From the dropdown menu here, select Report Pin.
Next, from this menu that pops up on the screen, you will select My intellectual property – Copyright or trademark infringement. Then click Next.
Here you will select This infringes my copyright.
You will then be taken to this page where you can fill in the report for this copyright infringement.
The first part is your Contact Information. This is where you will put in your personal info.
Then you will need to identify your work. You will select An image where it asks you to “Choose which of the work below you are claiming“.
On “Please tell us where we can see your work on your own website“, you will include the link to the blog post or page where the original pin is. If that pin was not posted on your website, you can simply insert the link of that pin in your account. Both methods work to prove that the content is yours.
Then you will need to provide a description of either your work or simply more information as to what happened there. I usually write something like: “This account is using my pins and photos that I created and they’re driving traffic to their own website.”
You will then identify the material that you want Pinterest to remove.
The link to the stolen pin will already be inserted there. But in case it isn’t, this is where you can copy and paste the link of the stolen pin.
IMPORTANT: Something I didn’t know at first. Next you have the option to choose between “Remove all” or “Strike”. You will want to select Strike and I’ll explain why.
When you select “Remove All“, Pinterest will attempt to remove all instances of that pin, including yours. So this is not something you want.
When you select “Strike“, they will only remove that instance of the photo, not all that exist on Pinterest. And they will give that account a Strike for copyright infringement. When an account gets multiple strikes, it will get blocked or closed by Pinterest. So this truly helps to keep those accounts at bay as much as possible.
Next you need to check the following boxes and insert your full name again.
After you click on Submit, you will see a pop up that confirms your report has been sent. You will also receive a proof of this in your email inbox. You’ve now successfully reported the stolen pin!
What happens when you report a pin on Pinterest?
After you report a pin to Pinterest DMCA, they will take a look at the stolen pin and compare it to your original pin (if that’s what you linked). Or they will compare it to the photos on the website or blog post you linked as the original content you created.
Pinterest is smart at this, and will recognise infringement even if the pin thief tried to alter the picture. For example, I had a few stolen pins that were edited to be a bit slanted, probably hoping the Pinterest algorithm wouldn’t pick it up as a stolen pin. Or some tried to crop it a bit, again hoping it will go unnoticed.
It doesn’t work for them thankfully, Pinterest still saw those as stolen pins and removed them.
After this comparison, Pinterest will then remove the stolen pin and strike their account for copyright infringement. And again, their account will then get blocked for multiple strikes.
How long does it take for Pinterest to respond?
Pinterest acts really fast on copyright claims. In my experience, whenever I reported a stolen pin, I received an email from Pinterest saying that the pin had been removed within 24 hours of my initial reporting.
So they are really on it at the moment.
In the removal confirmation email, they do say that you might still be able to see the stolen pin for up to 24 hours after being removed, until it is properly deleted from all servers. But more often than not, the pin will be removed very promptly.
So if you’re having trouble with stolen pins, do not hesitate to report it to Pinterest, as they take this matter very seriously.
How do I stop people stealing my images on Pinterest?
Unfortunately, as an online content creator, it is to be expected that as you see success, you will also have to deal with issues like this. There will always be ill-intended people who think they can get a quick win by stealing someone else’s work.
Fortunately, it is really easy to report this and get your content back.
There is no way to prevent them from stealing images, but what you can do is you can try to brand every pin that you post on Pinterest. What does this mean?
It means you put your logo or your blog name on each pin. This doesn’t stop them from stealing pins, but at least it gives readers a bit more info to see that the link to the stolen pin might not be the same as you originally intended it to be.
It also makes it easier for Pinterest to see that the pin is yours when it clearly has the name of your blog on it.
How often Should I report Pins?
I wouldn’t get obsessive with it, because for one, it is not healthy for you to keep putting in time on tracking these down. And for two, you could use that time in much more productive ways to grow your blog and business.
BUT I would try to do the search process for my most popular pins once in a while. Again, not obsessing over it, but just having a glance once in a while could help you avoid loosing traffic because of stolen pins.
OR I would definitely look into stolen pins for my most popular pins when I notice a sudden drop in traffic.
Now you know how to find and report your stolen pins on Pinterest, so that you can protect your hard work.
Don’t let those little people dim your light because of this, focus on doing the awesome job that you’re already doing. With maybe keeping an eye on these things once in a while.