At least one social network is taking proactive measures to combat spam. Pinterest is raiding its own site to try and clean up its spamming situation.
Pinterest recognized over the past few months “a number of suscicious, fake, or spammy accounts,” says Engineering Manager Marty Weiner.
The virtual pinboard site isn’t alone. Facebook, much to its user’s behest, finally conceded and took a site-wide measure to identify and delete accounts that it believed were fake, or spammy in August. The results of the cleaning slightly dropped the “Like” count for some Facebook Pages – on average by one percent. Pinterest warns that its users too will see a decrease in Likes, which is normal considering how common fake accounts are on social networks. Only one percent of users may see a dramatic drop, and those who paid for their followers will be most hurt. Otherwise Pinterest says 99 percent of users will lose only up to 10 followers.
“Removing these accounts helps protect the integrity of Pinterest and helps ensure that followers are real people who are interested in what you share. It also means some of these spam followers may be removed from your follower counts. For more than 99 percent of accounts, it will be a loss of less than 10 followers. However, spammers tend to focus their attacks, and most of the bad accounts are following a relatively small number of legitimate accounts,” Weiner explained.
Admittedly removing spam on a social network with 20 million users (a figure released in May 2012) is no small order, and Weiner reiterates this reality. “Like all online services, getting rid of spam on Pinterest is an ongoing process. In this case, we’ve used everything we’ve learned from these spam accounts to implement new measures that will help keep bad accounts from being created in the first place.”
Inevitably, with size come fake accounts, hackers, and spammers, which sites like Twitter and Facebook are all too familiar with. But the social network has had measures in place to combat spam after the platform blew up in 2011. Pinterest recently introduced spam and blocking features to its users, for notifying the social network of misleading images, pornography, and other illicit activities. According to Pinterest’s blog post, it also has a dedicated spam team that has been “hard at work investigating reports and building systems that detect, remove, and prevent spam.” It’s refreshing to hear not only for loyal users, but businesses as well. Pinterest has been identified as the fourth largest driver of traffic, according to BizRate Insights, and a leading gateway to sales. Pinterest shows more promise for retailers than Facebook and Twitter since these studies suggest that 70 percent of users are on Pinterest find items to shop for – and the last thing a marketer would want to compete or deal with is outliers undermining their value-driven marketing efforts on Pinterest.