Why it Matters to Cite and Credit the Proper Source on Pinterest and How to do it

computer, social media, sharing is caring

Maybe this is just a pet peeve of mine that has turned into an irrational chord that gets struck every.single.time I see it, but in this digital age, I feel like this bears mentioning because maybe truly you just didn't know. I love the internet I really do. It's hard to remember what life was like when we didn't have so much visual inspiration and information available to us instantaneously. However, there are some misuses of said inspiration that requires this little PSA. Via Pinterest isn't a way to credit anything. Period. Pinterest isn't a source. Pinterest is a bulletin board of sorts. A way to keep all of the digital media pinned in one place. It's a source of inspiration BUT it isn't THE inspiration. 

There are hard working bloggers, designers, photographers, authors, and individuals that are behind every image that you see. A fellow blogger {Emily from Eleven Gables} wrote this sentiment and posted it on her Instagram account.  I'm hoping that I can explain to you why you shouldn't take images and share them without their proper source because this just adds to the cycle of image theft. And you aren't a stealer are you? 

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Why You Should Give Credit to Pinterest Images

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I've had a heavy presence on Pinterest since it was formed back in early 2010. I remember having to get an invite from a blogger friend in order to join. Like any form of digital media, it's grown and evolved and changed through the years. It no longer requires an invite to be a part of it and many people, including myself, use it on an almost daily basis. If I'm looking for a recipe for dinner or if I have the desire to bake I search Pinterest. If I'm looking for ways to use a specific item in my craft closet I will search Pinterest. I've also been known to pour over outfits on Pinterest to see what I can pull together in my own closet that would make me look presentable, lawd knows that's a big task! I've searched decorating ideas, DIY ideas, sewing projects, you name it. Pinterest, however, is merely a tool. Pinterest doesn't generate it's own content, in fact, it draws on other resources, for instance bloggers like myself, to compile content in one easy to find convenient location. 

When I see people sharing content on Pinterest with the words "via Pinterest" it's like nails on a chalkboard. I used to sell some of my handcrafted items at local craft fairs around the holidays and I would constantly be asked "did you get the idea on Pinterest?" It made me want to scream! I AM PINTEREST! If you are a creator and you have shared your work on Pinterest, YOU ARE PINTEREST. This comment makes me feel like my work is devalued.

I started to wonder if this was just me. Am I the only blogger that has this entitlement-like feeling to my work. I love to be creative and my blog is an outlet for me to share that creativity with others and I do that by offering free tutorials and DIY's, but I'm not alone. There are other creators out there that feel just as strongly as I do. Carrie Spalding from LovelyEtc. said "this drives me crazy! Pinterest did not come take that picture, design that room, come up with that recipe, etc. It's like sourcing everything you read on the internet to Google." 

From CraftSnark See...I'm not the only one!

So why should you care? Why take the time to find the original source and cite that? 

First of all, because some creator is behind that image. We've all fallen down the rabbit hole that is the internet from time to time and gotten sucked into one site that led to another site that led us to another. It happens. But what if one site has a round up of images and one of those images sparks inspiration in you and you think that you have finally found the exact thing that you wanted to make/bake/create but you can't find out where it came from. All it is is an image flopping all around by itself in cyber space with the two words Via Pinterest attached to it.

My blog is my job. I make money from ads when people spend time on my site. If I have created a tutorial or post with information for my readers for free but my information gets spread out there and all that's left is an image of my completed work, how will people find me? How will they know that the source of inspiration for the project or words is tied to my blog? That lonely forgotten about image is now making someone else money because now it's linked to their site. And while all you meant to do was screenshot the image that inspired you or you sourced an image "Via Pinterest" and it got spread around by your friends and then by their friends, you didn't have the intention to draw traffic away from someone else's small business, but essentially, that's exactly what has just happened.

Earlier last year I shared a post on my personal Facebook page from Mindful Still called "Why You Should Read Your Friends Blog". I can't tell you how many conversations I have had with friends and family members about that piece. They shared that it really opened up their eyes to understand that blogging is a legitimate small business and that by reading my blog and sharing my posts is one {free} way that they can support me as a small business. In the same way that they might also choose to shop local and support physical small business around their homes.

Another reason to make sure you are properly citing the source is that perhaps you love what you see and you want to see more of it. By not citing the source and linking to the webpage that it came from, you are creating a dead end that is preventing other readers from finding more information that could be really helpful or inspiring to them.

Rachel from Shades of Blue Interiors has written a fabulous article on how to find the original source of an image so that you can properly cite it. She walks you step by step on the methods that you can use to do a reverse image search so that you can give credit where credit is due.

Sharing is caring. As a content creator I want you to share my stuff, I really do! I just want you to know how very hard bloggers and creators work to create free content for their readers and that you devalue that work when you don't give credit where credit is due.

So what's the proper way to cite your source on social media?

pinterest, twitter, facebook,

Every social media platform is different, how's that for an answer. However, best practice is to always make sure that you mention the creators name at the very least and if link to the original post. If you can't link to the original post, make sure you link to their website where the post can be found.

On Pinterest you want to make sure that you pin the original source. Remember when I told you that we want you to share our work? We've made it easy and many sites have a "pin it" button when you hover over an image. Simply click on that button and it will link up to Pinterest automatically. Many blogs share content and even if it's shared properly on the blog, you want to make sure you pin directly from source, not from the site that is sharing it. This might mean clicking a few times to get to the original post. Do that. It's the right way to do it.

But what if it's a repin? It's so easy to find something that you love on Pinterest as you are browsing and it does take a little extra work to click on the image and make sure that the pin goes to the source that it has been generated from. If it doesn't take you to the original source, DON'T REPIN IT. Follow Rachel's tips on how to do a reverse image search and pin it from the original post. 

On Twitter make sure that person's user name is somewhere in your tweet. If you can, simply retweet the original post. 

Facebook makes it easy with the share button. If you want to share something that wasn't shared on Facebook, simply add the link where you can find the content that you want to share. Facebook will generate a preview and the people you share the content with can then click the link to find the source and the information.

If you are a blogger, most bloggers I know have a terms of service tab on their site. Read that before you use any of their content. The majority of the time, you are free to use one image from their site without permission as long as you link to the post where the image came from. Simply writing source under an image isn't cutting it.  If you have questions, always contact the source. Most people have their e-mail information plastered all over their site because they want you to contact them. Just ask.

Please friends, stop sharing images and writing "Via Pinterest" and if you could, stop creating and telling people what you created was found on Pinterest. It wasn't. You were inspired by something you saw on Pinterest. There is a proper way to cite your source and while I may sound like a middle school English teacher on this, it matters. If you didn't know before, you know now. Go forward doing the right thing.

disclaimer: this post may have affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing through them, I may receive a small commission. These small purchases help me to continue to keep writing content and creating at Rachel Teodoro. Thank you!


Heather said...

Ironically, I wanted to tweet this article out, but there was no Twitter share button (at least that I saw, maybe I'm missing something). Using your header's social media links, I visited your Twitter account and it doesn't appear to have a tweet for this article, so that is out, too.

I hope your readers empathize and take your message to heart. I think this is a VERY important subject--I'm in marketing and digital strategy/content and intellectual property is something we talk about every day. All too many of our employees have a similar feeling about Google image search--if they are accessible, they often feel free to use them. Of course, Pinterest photos show up on Google image search, too! It doesn't help that some websites state it is okay to grab images from Google. Just...don't.

All this to say I'll happily take the time and effort to open my Twitter account, copy/paste the blog post's URL into a new Tweet and include your Twitter handle, because attribution is really, really vital and I think you made your case well! But you may want to consider a social media sharing tray plug in to make it as fast and easy as possible for readers to properly share your blog posts (and boost stats!). Maybe you've already considered it and there's a reason against it, in which case please ignore me!!!

Aidel Knaidel said...

I appreciate and agree with your points about attribution. I would add that as a sometimes DIYer, I find it frustrating when I find something I like and want to make on Pinterest, and it doesn't link to the originator. I can't figure out how to make that great thing by myself; I need the original post and instructions. Additionally, when I see some home decor object that I want to buy, it's frustrating not to be able to find it. Sometimes a pin links back through several links, but at least with some dedicated clicking, I can find more information or the source. Thanks for raising awareness!

rachelteodoro said...

Thanks Heather for the advice. I will look into it. You make so many great points. Especially about Google images. We tend to think that it's a free for all!

rachelteodoro said...

Aidel that is exactly why it's so important! Don't miss the paragraph that I linked to an article that will help you find the original source and may save you some time!

Here it is from the post above so you don't have to hunt for it: Rachel from Shades of Blue Interiors has written a fabulous article on how to find the original source of an image so that you can properly cite it. She walks you step by step on the methods that you can use to do a reverse image search so that you can give credit where credit is due.

voyance par mail gratuit said...

Great placement is here when i saw that i am really so shocked and also i am very impressed with your post can you more share here i will back soon as soon possible.

Lisab said...

Yes, this is true! I also read the article you mentioned on how to find original sources which is great for technical people. I recommend the original artist/creator/photographer to put a watermark on their work so that it is always on their work no matter how many times it is shared or pinned. Also, it takes the burden of responsibility off of me the consumer as I am here to look for ideas not to credit each pic I look at for inspiration. Take your work one more step via a signature or watermark!

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