e.g: pictures of cakes on a recipe board about desserts that link back to a cookbook and he gets 4 cents per click through...
That's the most abusive part. As a Pinterest user I want to see what other real users are pinning. I don't want to see what 4,000 bots are pinning.
The utilitarian argument here invalidates this premise of the pins needing to be human, which is what is interesting. If you are getting utility out of it and you didn't know it was a bot, you are actually still better off.
Having said that, you do make a very good point.
If a bot could find things I like, and put it in a sensible pinboard, then I'd probably follow it.
I don't care about Pinboard skimlinking any affiliate links, even ones I'm using. (another post in this thread explained how bots would avoid that limitation with redirects.)
I do mind, a little bit, if a bot owner is making hundreds of dollars a day by manipulating flaws in Pinterest, because arms-racing could make Pinterest much less useful.
(I am not affiliated with Pinterest. Just curious from a product perspective.)
If you have any handy, can you send one my way?
EDIT: Email daniel at piccsy dot com. He's the founder.
The contributors have to be manually added to the board though.