Pinterest Fights Spam By Blocking User Tracking Links
Pinterest is the popular picture-pinning website that has had a meteoric rise to top-tier status in its short life, with 31.9 million global unique visitors in May according to comScore. It has earned acclaim for sending lots of traffic to other sites, but has now started blocking certain kinds of links in their efforts to curb spam. These are all the kinds of complex user tracking links used by brands and marketers however, so shouldn't make much difference to regular non-commercial users. The problem is that besides being used for legitimate marketing purposes, these links can also be used by spammers and scammers, which is obviously highly undesirable.
They are blocking three kinds of links:
- Affiliate links from sites such as Amazon. Pinterest now treats them as spam
- URL shorteners such bit.ly. Pinterest users now see a Pinterest road block sign instead of the destination website, since such links could dupe users into going to websites they didn't intend to and which could easily have an unsavoury nature
- Information added to the end of a URL in order to track click-throughs is now stripped out
Here's a closer read on each of the cases:
- Pinterest may or may not introduce its own affiliate marketing product again. The company isn't commenting on that. It would be an obvious way to profit from the natural behavior that is happening on the site, but it could also inject too much crass commercialism into the environment.
- As for blocking short URLs, that may well be a longer-term thing. Pinterest would prefer that content doesn’t automatically redirect users to another page, because that process can be manipulated and land clickers in places they never intended to go.
- As for URL stripping, apparently some tags were being abused by spammers. Pinterest is working on ways to allow legitimate referrer information that don't give rise to so much spammy behavior.
Posted by | Mon, Jul 16, 2012 - 05:45 PM