Check your Pinterest account, you may have been hacked

Anyone responsible for a newspaper Pinterest account should check the account’s recent pins and likes, you may have been hacked. If you see you’ve somehow pinned or liked an image similar to the one below, try opening the pin in the preview mode by clicking on it once.

Pinterest Best Buy Spam image

Hover over the image and see if the “edit” button appears on the top left of the image. If it does, click “edit” then delete the pin on the next page. This is the regular way to delete a pin and for some users the process has been working as usual.

For most accounts though, the edit button does not appear when you hover over the image. If this is the situation you find yourself in, follow these steps to remove it:

  1. Click the pin once to open it up the preview.
  2. Add “/edit” to the end of the URL in your browser’s address bar.
  3. You should now be able to delete the pin from your board.
  4. Double check to make sure the pin doesn’t also appear in your “likes”. If you see the pin there, just unlike it as you normally would by hovering over the pin and clicking the gray button that says “unlike.”
  5. That’s it! Be sure to help spread the word to others who may not know they have this  spam pin on their boards.
Here’s a little more background on how the situation unfolded tonight:
At about 7:25 p.m. central time on March 17 many Pinterest users saw pins appearing in their homepage feeds that looked like advertisements for a Pinterest-sponsored Best Buy gift card giveaway.

Here’s what my feed looked like:

My Pinterest home page feed on March 17, 2012. The Best Buy gift card giveaways appeared to be those of a hacker.

So many of the people I follow were posting the same pin. Then I saw that I had pinned it too! I knew then that I and many others had fallen victim to a spam or hacker attack. Or Pinterest was taking control of everyone’s boards and placing the pin themselves (I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt and hoping that was not the case).

My next step was to try and delete the pin from the board on which it was forcibly placed. Not so simple. When I opened the pin’s preview and hovered over the image, I did not have the option to edit the pin or report the pin. Uh-oh.

So I headed over to Twitter and found this tip:


Thanks to Sarah I was able to delete the unwanted pin. I shared her tweet with my followers then promptly headed over to to create a quick image that I could share with my Pinterest followers.

I followed the simple instructions on PinAQuote to create this image:

I pinned the quote to several of my more popular boards, and to the board where the original spam was posted.

On Twitter I shared a link to this pin and tried to spread the tip to others in the Pinterest community. Thanks to Mariam Shahab ‏ (@MShahab)  and Kelly Lieberman‏ (@Tribe2point0) for helping get the word out.


Here are two of their tweets:



If you aren’t already following both Mariam and Kelly on Pinterest, go to their boards now and check them out. Mariam has a FANTASTIC board featuring over 950 brands, businesses and blogs on Pinterest. Kelly is the founder of #PinChat, a weekly Twitter chat you can catch on Fridays at 9 p.m. central.

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