Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Stop Pinterest from sharing your pictures or blog-posts

This article shows you how to stop people from "Pinning" your blog-contents on their own Pinterest accounts.

Recently I've been investigating  Pinterest, and why some blog-publishers, especially those of you who use pictures that you aren't authorised to distribute any further, may want to ...

Stop people sharing your posts & images on PInterest [tweet this]

I'll share more about this soon.   But in the meantime:

How to prevent people Pinning from your posts

PInterest have provided  a way for website owners to make it impossible for people to Pin pictures or articles from their site, by adding a very simple piece of code.

Unfortunately Blogger's post-editor doesn't allow meta-tags, so it cannot be applied to individual posts as you edit the post.  Instead, you have to add the code to your template file.   To do this:

1)   Edit your template - you don't need to expand the widgets.

2)   Find this text:
(You may need to look for <head  SOME-OTHER-STUFF>, depending on what template you are using.   I just search for "<head", ie without the closing bracket, and make sure that I do what is needed after the closing bracket).

3)   Add this line of code after the <head> tag:
<meta name="pinterest" content="nopin" />

If you just want to block a specific post from being shared on Pinterest,
  • add this code 
<b:if cond='data:blog.canonicalUrl == "PUT-THE-POST-URL-HERE"'>
<meta name="pinterest" content="nopin" />
  • and replace PUT-THE-POST-URL-HERE  with the full address of the post that you don't want anyone to pin from
If you use the 2nd approach, you need to edit your template every time that you make a post that you don't want to be pinnable.   This could get tedious, and the list of meta-tags could get long.  But apart from that, there's no reason why this approach won't work "forever" or at least within whatever limits Blogger has about the number of blog-posts we can have.

If you want to keep your template tidy, then you may want to find any other meta-tags already in the header section, and place this one with them. If tidiness matters to you like this, then I'm assuming you now enough to find the right spot, and to not nest the tags inside each other.

4)   Preview (to make sure you've done it right)

5)   Save the template change.

What your readers see

If you have installed the PInterest-blocking code, and one of your visitors tries to pin a blog-post of yours anyway, they get this message:

Which reads   
"We could't find any images:  This site doesn't allow pinning."
even though Pinterest's own documentation promised that it will read:
"This site doesn't allow pinning to Pinterest. Please contact the owner with any questions. Thanks for visiting!"

Depending on your niche, you may want to have a note somewhere on your blog, explaining why you don't allow pinning of your posts, and why.

How well does it work

Based on some quick tests, it's working well:
  • The specific-post-only code worked when I tested it, too.

That said, it cannot do magic.  Any moderately computer-savvy reader can get the direct URL for a photo in your blog, and pin that without going through the blog.   You could stop this by disabling right-clicks, but even so clever readers will just take screen-shots and make their own copy of your photo (and it has other side-effects too).    So for images that you particularly want to protect, the usual  blogger copyright protection techniques are still very relevant.

Stopping sharing to other social networks

I don't currently know of any way to stop readers sharing your blog to any other social networks (Facebook Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc).

However, the other networks are more about sharing your status, and less about sharing other people's creations.   If you have privacy concerns that make you want to stop people there from sharing "your" content, then the best approach is probably to just not post the material to the internet at all.

But if you do know ways to stop sharing, I'd love to hear about them.

Related Articles

How to edit your Blogger template

Copyright, blogs and bloggers - tools for applying copyright protection to your blog

Linking your blog and the social networks

Putting "share this on Facebook" etc buttons into your blog

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  1. Just considering starting my own blog and it looks like there is a lot of information to remember.
    thank you for these tips, i may not need them in the beginning but it feels like they are going to come in handy one day

    crossword puzzle maker

  2. Rats! I am unable to find this spot on my blog...Looking everywhere for where I can paste in that code to stop pinning. Can't find the head tag.

  3. Pinwords is a really basic tool, but it’s great if you want to quickly make an image from a quote and add it to your Pinterest account. Pinstamatic actually lets you create a whole bunch of items to add to your Pinterest boards including website snapshots, pins of Twitter profiles and Spotify tracks that you can pin.