Flickr allows users to opt out of pinning

Flickr may not be the third largest traffic source to Pinterest much longer, as the Yahoo-owned photo community created an option for users to block pinning. 


Lauren Rae Orsini

Internet Culture

Published Feb 27, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 8:53 pm CDT

Since Pinterest allows users to pin any image online, pinners may be committing copyright infringement, wittingly or not. In response to questions arising about Pinterest’s legality, cofounder Ben Silbermann has introduced a universal do-not-pin code so sites can opt out of being pinned against their will.

Flickr, the third largest traffic source to Pinterest, is one of the first social networks to implement the code on a large scale. The Yahoo-owned photography community has given members the option to add it to all their photos automatically.

“Flickr has implemented the tag and it appears on all non-public/non-safe pages, as well as when a member has disabled sharing of their Flickr content,” a spokesperson told VentureBeat. “This means only content that is ‘safe,’ ‘public’ and has the sharing button enabled can be pinned to Pinterest.”

VentureBeat reported that “copyrighted” photos can no longer be pinned, but the tag is not triggered by the photo’s license. A Flickr member opts out of pinning only when he or she manually negates the “Allow others to share your stuff” option on the account privacy page.

According to the Flickr Help Forums, the staff implemented the code after a user requested the feature.

“[W]e liked this idea so much we went ahead and did it,” wrote Flickr staff member Stephen Woods. “The photo page now includes this tag if you have opted out of sharing.”

Here’s a screenshot of what a Pinterest user will see while attempting to pin a photo from a Flickr user who has disabled sharing:


Users are still able to pin their own protected photos—as long as they are signed into Flickr.

“[W]hen you attempt to pin your own safe photos, regardless of your sharing settings, we never pass the nopin tag, as long as they are your own photos, and you are logged into Flickr at the time,” clarified Flickr staff member Mike Deerkoski.

So far, Flickr users are satisfied with the policy.

“Thanks for paying attention to out my copyright interests,” wrote Markus Heinisch. “ I have just changed my setting ‘Allow others to share your stuff’ to ‘No.’”

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*First Published: Feb 27, 2012, 12:29 pm CST