So Pinterest ethics. The biggest one is that it is so easy to take an image or idea away from the original creator and leave it either un-cited or cited to someone else. That’s one of the first things they taught us in grade school, right, to cite the original source?
Not citing correctly sucks for both pinners and pinees because: a) everyone likes to get credit for their own awesome idea; b) it’s hard to find more information if you’d like to learn more about the picture/idea; c) it makes it a lot easier for people to… borrow ideas. This isn’t just about Pinterest – Allison reports that she had issues before, but Pinterest made it like “trying to put out a wildfire one measuring cup of water at a time”. Can you imagine seeing your stuff everyday wandering around without you? It’s especially horrible because Pinterest is otherwise such a great source of exposure for bloggers and artisans.
So credit for original materials check. What other ethical responsibilities do we have as pinners? Frolic suggests (though not specifically for Pinterest) that we cite not only the source but how we found it. I have to admit that’s something I’m particularly bad at – mainly because I’m often not sure where I found the link (I’m a bit of an open tab pack rat) and that I’m not sure how to do so gracefully. I feel like it would just be a long path of x via y via z, via a, b, c…. It’s something I’m definitely going to now try to keep an eye on.
Killa b gives several more suggestions on ethically pinning – going beyond crediting to suggesting that we should add solid descriptions and hashtags. I feel almost though like that’s going a little too far – where is the line between promoting others and also making sure that Pinterest is working for you? I.e. I hate hashtags, hate how they look, and don’t use them. If I would never use them, do I still have a responsiblity to use them for other people? I’m not sure where that line is and I think it might be different for different sources – maybe not for a picture from Anthropologie but maybe for a tutorial from an independent blogger?