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Guy Makes $1000 Daily Spamming Pinterest Users

For the uninitiated, Pinterest is a different take on social networking. It's (supposedly) an invite-only virtual pinboard where users can "organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web." These pinboards are used to plan weddings, decorate their homes, organize their favorite recipes, post artwork and photographs, and more. It’s not exactly Facebook, and not the place you'd expect to find trolling spammers.

Last week the Daily Dot posted an article on how to spot a particular Pinterest spammer. Turns out, the spammer actually reads the site's articles and emailed the writer with a clarification on how he spams Pinterest. Calling himself merely as "Steve," the 24-year-old said that he uses thousands of bot accounts, one of which Pinterest actually deleted. He even makes -- get this -- at least $1000 a day.

"Currently I have no 'real' 9-5 job," Steve said in an interview. "My only source of income is from the earnings I make online. I have three associate degrees, all in aviation. I did two years of Avionics, one year of powerplant and one year of airframe. I have an FCC license and soon when I'm not so lazy I will go and test for my A&P (airframe & powerplant) license."

Previously he used to send spam through Facebook and Twitter, but he's discovered that Pinterest is by far the easiest. It requires almost no work to get started and no money to invest. Potential spammers just have to know how the system works and how they can fix it to their advantage. He started spamming the site by the end of February, earning around $20. Now he's making over $1,000 a day, with his highest earnings reaching $1,900.

"I fully expect next week's earnings to be $2,000-2,500 a day," he said. "There are no guarantees in this business and it could all come crashing down soon. Not a matter of if, but when will it happen."

Steve was rooted out by The Daily Dot last week, as the site traced his spam back to his Amazon affiliate account, but he has others. He also said that there are other spammers infiltrating the site which are running three weeks behind his own operation.

"There are others doing what I'm doing, but not near the same scale as me," he said. "I'm basically three weeks ahead of everyone else but with all these new bots [like the Black Hat World model] coming into the picture, more and more people will figure out how to do what I'm doing. I have more twists up my sleeve and I will start working on them soon, so you will see new types of spam in the future."

He also doesn't apologize for spamming the site. "I have no guilt. I'm not trying to scam anyone, or upload viruses to their computer or anything like that. I simply show products to the Pinterest community," he said. "I realize that I'm spamming the crap out of the site, but it's nothing personal, just business."

To read the full interview, head here.

  • stridervm
    Sorry dude, but you're not-a-so-distant third in the top three most annoying things in the internet in my list. First is viruses and second is trojans.
    Reply
  • sa1nt
    Satan !!!
    Reply
  • alhanelem
    well its not like he is stealing money from people, just MAKING money off of them.
    if thats bad its really up to someone's opinion
    Reply
  • fishyfish
    We are all spammed daily by every newspaper, billboard, poster, bus adverts, TV commercials, radio stations, product placements and so on. We even get spam in the cinema - pay for the ticked and then have to watch half an hour adverts, now this is what I call annoying spam.

    Yet somehow this doesn't bother anyone as much as message that takes 1 second to delete and is received, unlike newspaper I pay for, for absolutely free.
    Reply
  • eiskrystal
    Without tv commericals you could kiss tv goodbye (not necessarily a bad thing...but...) whereas this is "extra" unneccessary advertising on top of tvs and newspapaers that doesn't have that same issue. It's some lazy guy in his bedroom making more money in a day than some people see in a month and not being the least bit bothered about little things like morals or ethics. It's everything we hate about "just business" in one neat little package.
    Reply
  • fishyfish
    eiskrystalWithout tv commericals you could kiss tv goodbye (not necessarily a bad thing...but...) whereas this is "extra" unneccessary advertising on top of tvs and newspapaers that doesn't have that same issue. It's some lazy guy in his bedroom making more money in a day than some people see in a month and not being the least bit bothered about little things like morals or ethics. It's everything we hate about "just business" in one neat little package.

    BBC has no adverts and yet makes fantastic documentaries, TV shows and series. Can you explain it?

    And how about billboards and posters? Daily bunch of leaflets through the letterbox?
    Reply
  • david6005
    BBC is paid for by UK taxpayers tv license, we are forced to pay for our good documentaries but also crap like doctor who...hell you even have to pay if your blind ffs.
    Reply
  • fishyfish
    david6005BBC is paid for by UK taxpayers tv license, we are forced to pay for our good documentaries but also crap like doctor who...hell you even have to pay if your blind ffs.
    I don't have TV at home so don't need to pay TV license, and I can still enjoy most of it for free on BBC iPlayer, from Top Gear to BBC Horizon movies.

    My point is that I don't care that much about spam. It's like bad weather, traffic jams and "50% discount on window blinds" leaflets I find in my house every week. I can't do anything about it, so I won't waste my life complaining. :)
    Reply
  • virtualban
    Spammers are improving the AI that automates it, taking live comments from other sites in similar topics and mixing them up in an attempt to look human and lure people into shady corners of the web.
    Some are making enough of a profit to justify human de-captcha-ers or human posters, up to sophistication levels of PR representatives luring in popular forums and playing the role of fanboys.
    It is a losing battle, more and more work and effort by all advertisers for less and less sensitivity to advertising for all of us. And censoring the internet is not an acceptable option under any circumstance, so, I'm sad at the future and when they will invade our dreams, futurama style.
    Reply
  • onanonanon
    jtt283I hope someone hunts this guy down like an animal and puts him down. No matter how trivial his violations of TOS are, he is still guilty of willful wrongdoing.I hope to God you don't own a firearm. Or a sharp stick. Or are ever let out of your house unsupervised...
    Reply