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Hey Pinterest, who is Mike and why am I stuck liking him?

A mystery Chrome extension has popped up, and the internet was no help in solving the mystery, but through some tricky maneuvering, it was made obvious that not all Google Chrome extensions are made equal.

What is MikeLike?

A few weeks ago, I noticed in my Google Chrome when I right click on a photo, a small blue icon and the words “Pin to MikeLike,” and red alarms immediately went off in my head – who the bleep is Mike and why is he up in my Chrome? I’ve never heard of MikeLike, nor have I ever installed anything from the Pinterest clone, so where did this come from?

I put on my Sherlock Holmes hat, stuffed my pipe with pretend tobacco, and began sleuthing. First, I headed over to the MikeLike site and read their about page and terms, and found nothing about uninstalling MikeLike from Google Chrome. Maybe I accidentally downloaded some Google Chrome extension, so I dug through all of my Google Chrome settings and there was nothing called MikeLike that I could delete or uninstall.

Nothing? I checked my browser history that goes back nearly 12 months, and I found no instance of having visited anything named MikeLike. Google searching didn’t reveal much information about it, so I headed over to the Google Chrome Web App Store and found a MikeLike extension, but it wasn’t installed on my Chrome.

The mystery deepens

This mystery is frustrating. Who is Mike? Someone please tell me! In desperation, I ran a sweep on my computer to make sure it wasn’t some malware I had been exposed to, and all was clear. I quickly decided that Pinterest was out to get me, but just in case that wasn’t true, I kept searching for answers.

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With a little digging, I found someone complaining that the Pinterest Right Click Google Chrome Extension had added the ability to “Pin to MikeLike,” so I searched to see if I had downloaded that extension. I could tell from the “Add to Chrome” button on the page that I did not have it installed.

It seemed like a dead end, until I remembered that I had tested out several Chrome Extensions for pinning to Pinterest and settled on the “Pinterest Button” which is not designed by Pinterest, so it can technically make any changes it wants to, even if it is just one guy who built an app once upon a time.

By uninstalling the “Pinterest Button” Chrome extension, there was no more “Pin to MikeLike” when I right click an image, and when I am in Pinterest, I no longer have a stupid extra button when I hover over a picture.

Problem solved, what was the lesson learned?

It may seem minor to some, but this felt like a major violation to me – the brand was inconsistent and not even named the same thing as the Pinterest Button extension, and there was no way for most people to stumble upon the answer as to who the hell MikeLike is. I panicked and wasted a lot of time trying to uninstall this and that, and to no avail. MikeLike may be useful for some, as it offers private pin boards, but through no fault of Pinterest, a rogue extension downloaded to Chrome led to a great deal of confusion.

The lesson: when installing Chrome Extensions or any sort of browser tool, try to use the official extension from the source if you can, even if the functionality lacks. Although there is no official Pinterest extension on Chrome, the closest, most legitimate extension is the Pinterest Pin It Button (by Shareaholic) which works just fine and doesn’t force you into liking Mike, who is still a mystery person.

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Janet Aronica

    May 8, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Hey hey – thanks so much for the kind words on our Pinterest Chrome extension! We’re glad you like it and find it to be a good substitute for this other one. Please give me a personal shout-out if it causes you any issues like that other one did – jaronica at shareaholic.com. Glad to have you as a user.

    – Janet from Shareaholic

  2. LindseyMclain

    July 22, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    thank you so much for explaining that!  i agree with the feeling of violation.  i am following your lead and switching to shareaholics extension.

  3. MTgrrl

    July 24, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Thanks very much for your sleuthing.  I suspected that was the issue, but had not got off my lazy butt long enough to track it down and find a legit Chrome extension.  It was fabulous to find  your answer to my problem!

  4. Reema_ajdeeda

    August 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I uninstalled the extension but it still says the mike thing. I dont know what to do.
     

  5. Reema_ajdeeda

    August 15, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    nevermind. i was on the wrong extension. 🙂

  6. margaretalmon

    August 27, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Thank you for solving this mystery!  I appreciate you taking the time to figure this out.

  7. TARAdactyl

    October 10, 2012 at 10:49 am

    THANK YOU! I was going nuts with this and SO felt it was annoying AND a violation. I was not going to use the service and the fact that it interfered with the functionality of Pinterest made that doubly bad..:)

  8. mystitsu

    December 9, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    I found out if you want to use the Pinterest right click extension you can turn off the option to pin to likemike  Make sure you turn them both off if you do. One says Pin to likemike and one says pin to likemike from pinterest.

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