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.)
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.