Blogger True Story: My Pinterest Account Was Deactivated
By: Taylor Davies

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Be honest: What would you do if your Pinterest account was deactivated?

That’s what happened to DIY blogger Donatella Mestriner of inspiration and realization. The Italian blogger used the social-image sharing site to pin her projects, and many users pinned her images as well.

However, on May 7th her pins started being flagged as spam when users tried to click through the image to visit her site. She checked out the support page, filed a request detailing her issue, and waited for a response. All the while losing quite a bit of sleep wondering what was going on and how this could have happened.

The next day, May 8th, she returned to Pinterest and attempted to login – only to be notified that her account had been deactivated. She sounded off on her blog, on her Facebook page, as well as Pinterest’s Facebook page. She discovered she was not alone, and that other bloggers were complaining of the same issues.

A week after her initial complaint to Pinterest (May 14th), Pinterest finally got back to her (and to IFB) with a response from a real person. Aaron Franklin, Pinterest’s Community Specialist, informed her that the problem wasn’t that her blog was being marked as spam, but that her pins were redirecting from one place to another. For example, a pin linking to her “blogspot.it” address would redirect to her “.com” address, which Pinterest detects as suspicious, and then presents a warning to users. (Pinterest tries to monitor that all pins link back to the correct URL where they were originally pinned from.)

Pinterest Spam Flag

Though Donatella’s Pinterest account was reactivated about 3 days after her initial issues, she believes that the redirect isn’t what caused the problems, since she only changed her URL over the weekend (May 13th). Still, she says she’s not much of a fighter, and would rather not cause a fuss since everything seems to now be resolved. At this time she still does not know what caused her pins to be marked as spam.

Pinterest is a relatively small company (less than 30 employees) so it’s understandable that communication between them and their millions of users might be slow. We reached out to Pinterest’s press email on Thursday May 10th, to find out a little more about Donatella’s situation, and immediately received an auto-reply, informing us that a personal response might never come, but here’s some links to the support page. However, Mr. Franklin responded personally on Monday, citing the redirecting issue as the problem, as well as a mention of apology for Donatella’s issues getting a hold of Pinterest.

What we can learn from this:

  • If you’re having issues, be patient with Pinterest, they will get back to you (but perhaps not immediately).
  • Categorize your support ticket appropriately – it’s the most effective way to ensure your ticket ends up in the hands of right customer service representative
  • Make sure your pins are not redirecting from one URL to another.
  • When you post images and content to a site you do not host or own, you always run the risk of losing your account, or having your access denied at any time.

Pinterest has two helpful troubleshooting posts here and here, that are worth checking out if you’ve encountered a similar problem.

Have you ever had this kind of experience with Pinterest or a similar social sharing site? Or perhaps your blogging platform? Let us know in the comments!

 

Comments

  1. Hannah says:

    I had a similar issue with mine, I changed my twitter name but couldn’t find a way to change my pinterest account which was linked to it. In the end whenever I logged in I saw the twitter details of the person who took over my old twitter name, not good! Had to delete my account and start all over again!

    • Michael says:

      My Pinterest account was deactivated Sunday March 20 2013. When I try to sign in I get the message “Oops Your account has been deactivated, but your pins are safe and sound Please contact support and we’ll get you pinning again soon” I submitted my username my password and my e-mail address . I get from Pinterest is ” We haven’t heard from you in a while how do you rate our support that you received from us ? ” I received no support. I get the notice : help.pinterest.com/entries2145363 I have tried over 15 times to reactivate my account and failed. I notify Pinterest each time and they send the same message help.pinterestcom./entries2145363 When I try to view any of my boards I get the message 404 “Oops the page you’re looking could not be found. I am at my wits end. I have 8 boards and almost 300 pins. I have pleaded with Pinterest for help and I get none.

  2. Donatella says:

    thank you for talking about it!
    (my account was reactivated at the end of the 3rd day, while I received today the email stating that the problem was the redirection of the pins)

    • Avatar of taylordavies
      taylordavies says:

      Of course – we think any story like this is important for our community to know about! And I edited that error, thanks for clearing it up :) Best, Taylor

  3. laura says:

    Luckily your account was reactivated !

  4. Maria says:

    My new twitter account was suspended just after a tweet I sent was retweeted by my-wardrobe.com to thousands of their followers. After a week of me sending support requests it was unsuspeneded with no explanation for why it had been suspended in the first place.

  5. Eli says:

    I think I may have an idea of what’s happening.

    Back in December I moved my website from thrifteye.blogspot.com to thrifteye.com. I always used to get hits from the original blogspot address because obviously some people still had it linked as the original address, but recently I have been seeing hits from thrifteye.blogspot.com.co.uk thrifteye.blogspot.ca which I totally had never registered the blog under.

    Which never happened before, I think Blogger has some sort of new url going on depending on which country you are viewing the blog from, your blog will correspond to something like that perhaps? So if she was pinning from her address, it may be redirecting in a similar way? Especially if she’s in another country.

    I’m blaming Blogger for this

  6. Donatella says:

    @Eli: blogger changed some rules, so that each blog would have the regional code of the place the blog was being read. Which was pretty annoying, and one of the reasons I finally decided to move onto my own domain. But this is being going on for the past two months or so, and it is not the problem that caused the issue with Pinterest. Lots of bloggers had the same issue. Apparently, from some non-official source, they got under a spam attack, and lots of accounts have been deactivated: then the ones that were not spam got back on. Thing is, they only have excuses on how I pinned things that were not pertinent to the picture and last to the redirect to my .com address.

  7. Tessa B says:

    This hasn’t happened to me..but this article is very informative. It will def prevent this from happening to me if I have a situation that will causes changes to my site. Thanks for sharing…

  8. Nels says:

    Link With Love has been talking about images in general and sometimes Pinterest specifically.

    http://linkwithlove.typepad.com/linkwithlove/

  9. Kira says:

    I had a different situation happen and never received support or a statement of any kind back from Pinterest. I was trying to address pins from my blog that did not link back to me by commenting on the ones I could find with the original link, then suddenly I was no longer able to comment on any pins anywhere. It might have been a glitch but I suspected that Pinterest’s system thought I was spamming (since my comments included links and were similar in nature) but I submitted a support ticket and never heard back, so I’ll never know.

  10. mika says:

    This is alarming! I tried to open the account today for Pinterest and they let me wait. This is the problems of start-ups.

  11. Brent says:

    I had something somewhat similar just happen. I received an email from Pinterest declaring that my account was deactivated because a corporation wanted to use the name that I have been using for months. Make a long story short, I created two Pinterest accounts and started pinning items right from their website (more or less acting as a Brand evangelist) that used the names of these two companies. No where did I ever declare it was there official Pinterest page or anything. I have asked around and they have told me it is a grey area but weren’t positive they could do that since similar things occurred with Facebook. Has this happened to anyone?

  12. Marie-Eve says:

    Since blogger change my adress from blogspot.com to blogspot.ca pins from my blog started to be flagged as spam also ! Sucks ! I realised it just now. I send a ticket hope it gets fixed !

  13. I’m now experiencing the same thing that Donatella went through. It’s very frustrating and I’m hoping that as this seems to be happening to more and more people/bloggers, that Pinterest will come up with a quicker and more effective solution~

  14. This has just happened to me. I tried to pin from my blog and all I get is the big exclamation point. When i try to click on photos i have already pinned from my blog I get a message that my site has been blocked because it has been marked as spam or inappropriate content. I have been so worried all day because i don’t want my follower to think I am pushing porn or something. Will check out your troubleshooting links you have provided above. Any additional support is greatly appreciated. Thanks!!! Danina

  15. Cate says:

    Not on pinterest (don’t stone me!) but I remember reading that they were having serious problems with link spamming. this was probably just an unfortunate effect of them trying to crack down on the people who were abusing it.

  16. Thanks 4 the post, its so informative.

  17. Nice post!

    I have written a pinterest post specifically for Fashion lovers. http://bit.ly/KnpwYo

  18. h-vogue says:

    This is alarming! I tried to open the account today for Pinterest and they let me wait.

  19. Robin Thomas says:

    More than two days back, when I tried logging to my Pinterest account, I find the error that “Oops! Your account has been deactivated, but your pins are safe and sound.Please contact Support and we’ll get you pinning again soon.”

    I tried the Support with no response so far, and when checked the support yesterday to create one more ticket, it says “You have been suspended from this account. You are not allowed to submit requests at this time.” Now I cant even get to the Support.

    They never stated any reasons why they suspended my account, and nor did they have the courtesy of giving an explanation to me. Pinterest was the only social network that I ever liked, and they have now thrown me out for no reasons.

    Can some one kindly help me getting back to pinning ?

    I dont understand what they call as spamming. I have never posted an affiliate link before, and all my pins are informative and does match my boards. I was even getting a couple of board invitations from some big boards. I read in some blog posts about people buying Pinterest accounts, and I was shocked to see that they are indeed cheap! Some are selling it for as cheap as $10 for 100 Pinterest accounts! They are not getting removed for those spam accounts, and Pinterest is deactivating real accounts like mine in their action against “Spamming”. Where are they headed ?

    Could someone kindly get me back to pinning ?

  20. I tried to change from charlie-the-cavalier.blogspot.com to charliethecavalier.com after buying the new site. on godaddy. I then redirected my blogger, and all of my old pins would not work because it was redirecting. Then it would not go back to normal because those links were flagged. If anyone can help please email me lbrennecAtgmailDOTcom

  21. cindy says:

    they deleted my account with no warning, and it’s taken me a week to even get a fake response from them. it’s embarrasing, i’m a design blog and not selling anything so IDK

  22. I find this very interesting as I just had the same thing occur on my account.

    I had previously sent two emails to support asking why I continued to receive a comment block when attempting to post very simple “thank you” comments to the people who have repinned my pins. The first reply was off topic and a generic response.

    I did not receive a second reply when I replied to the first to ask for a specific answer to my original question, and instead my account has been deactivated.

    I’m curious about this because the only things I’ve ever pinned were from my own websites, no redirects, and it’s all my original, copyrighted content. Very excellent content in fact, which goes to the heart of the struggles that millions are having with their weight (it’s not about diet and exercise, that’s only 10% of the problem – Mindset is 90% of the solution).

    Being a weight loss mindset expert I am curious about the mindset of Pinterest, especially since it is true that there really ARE Spam Accounts on Pinterest (as Robin Thomas detailed above) which continue to operate, when mine is a legitimate account.

    Thanks for writing about Donatella’s experience Taylor!

    JoLynn Braley
    The F.A.T. Release Coach

  23. Dave says:

    I am having this exact problem right now. I just redirected my http://www.themalebaker.wordpress site to http://www.themalebaker.com and all the wordpress pins on Pinterest are considered spam now. Can you shed any more light on how I can get around this?

  24. Betty Brush says:

    I have a problem, I can’t log into Pinterest. When I do I get this: Forbidden (403) CSRF Verification failed, Request aborted.
    This happened a month ago. I still can’t log in. Did I do something wrong? Does anybody know what to do? I am at my wits end.
    Thank you for helping me.

  25. cindy says:

    My account is not deactivated. But since yesterday I have been denied access. When I log onto my pinterest it says “oops we’ve detected a bot” and says my IP address has been denied. I cannot get on with my laptop or my kindle fire, which I have Pinterest app. I am waiting for their reply back.

  26. Avatar of strawberrycouture

    Pinterest suspended my account. I learned some of my boards got deleted. Upset! I understand the crackdown on spam, but they chose the wrong people. They suspended me this past Friday without warning. It helped get my sales on Etsy. I will have to alternate and focus mote on my other social sites like Facebook and Google+. I wrote them an angry letter. Not sure if you would like to hear it, but it’s angry alright.

  27. Christina says:

    It’s so sad to read all these stories of suspended and deactivated accounts, and lost boards! I’ve been on Pinterest for a year and a half, and I realized early on that I did *not* want to lose my pins. Luckily, my programmer hubby tackled the problem a year ago, and created the Pin4Ever program to back up pins. We’ve added more great features to make pinning easier and more fun, including the ability to upload or restore lost pins — but I’m so glad we’ve helped our customers back up millions of pins! If you haven’t tried it yet, please visit http://www.pin4ever.com and your first week is free (including a complete backup of all your pins likes, and boards!).

  28. I was setting up a client’s Twitter account and I was following a bunch of people who were their target market and I guess Twitter thought I was a robot and they suspended their account. I had to create another one, and after 3 months of back and forth with Twitter, they reinstated the original account.

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