The popular online pinboard Pinterest has been hit by a series of spam ads. Pinterest user Craig Fifield found that a strange image had been posted on of of his wife’s boards. It was something she would never pin on the site, an ad for Wal-Mart. The same thing was noticed by Om Malik on Gigaom:
Fake gift cards for well known brands such as Wal-Mart, IKEA, iPad and others are suddenly all over Pinterest.
They all seem to be pointing to the site facebook-goodies.com and some spammer has probably posted several photos and then after they were repinned, the image changed to an ad through some kind of script. The original images seem to have been posted to boards themed “party ideas”, “beauty” and “quotes” to name a few.
Some of the spam ads have been repinned more than 6,000 times.
This is of course quite serious for Pinterest, since it is a blow to the very heart of the site. If we can no longer trust that images we repin aren’t going to turn into spam ads, dare we use the site at all?
Another form of spam that has been emerging is that the same image is posted multiple times on multiple accounts, but with the exact same text.
Update: one of the accounts that seemed to be the origin of some spam ads have now been deleted: http://pinterest.com/ElisabethCarla/