Mar 13, 2012

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The latest craze on the Internet is Pinterest. It is growing by leaps and bounds, yet it is still only in the beta phase. What is Pinterest? It is a social community where you are able to “pin” anything, usually images, you find on the web to theme boards. You can also “re-pin” from other people's boards. Think of it this way, an electronic cork board. In the past, you would look through a magazine and pull out the photos of things you liked, pinning them with a thumbtack to your cork board. You could pin photos of people, clothing, plants, home designs, anything. It is the same with Pinterest.

I have seen several times in the last few weeks, people commenting that because of Pinterest, they are cooking more. I know that my dinner on Monday night came from a recipe someone posted on Pinterest. This was not the first time I have cooked something I found on Pinterest. These images are linked to websites often with DIY instructions. There is also the ability to add a sales price tag across the photo.

Every image needs to have a tag on it. Some people just put a period. Others give the full description. Sometimes you see “I like this color” or other personal comments. After being pinned, people can then add their own comments. You can also “like” the image without pinning it to your board.

And of course, it links up to Facebook so you can let your Facebook community know what you are pinning.

What does this mean when it comes to protecting yourself and your family? Pinterest is a situation where if a photo does not have accurate tags or writing on it related to your blocking settings, it will not be blocked. Additionally, word masking will not work either because the words are imbedded in the image. I contacted Pinterest a week ago asking what their policy is related to “inappropriate” images. They have not responded and I have been unsuccessful in finding anything on their website.

So how do you protect yourself? Having Net Nanny is a start. The next step is to only follow people you know who have the same values as you do. This will limit the images you see to be ones they too find appropriate. When searching for new images, be careful about what words you choose to use in your search.

I work for ContentWatch and all opinions expressed here are my own.