Vine Cleans up and Bans Six Second Porn

Vine

Twitter’s video sharing app Vine has cleaned up its terms of service and will no longer serve as an outlet for those seeking to create or watch the ultimate quickie. In an attempt to make its social video service more family friendly, Vine has banned all videos of an explicit nature and has adopted a strict “no porn” policy. This may cause a minor hitch in the marketing of six-second commercials by professional porn hawkers and is sure to disappoint amateur exhibitionists and porn voyeurs who found Vine a good source for a cheap thrill. However, Vine has made the decision that explicit content is “not a good fit” for its social media community.

The Vine app provides the technology to use a mobile phone to create six-second looping videos, which can then be shared with other Vine users or posted on Twitter. According to Twitter, the app allows users to express themselves in a wide range of spontaneous ways including “hilarious jokes” and other meaningful events. With the new terms of service however, meaningful events do not include sex with oneself or another person, the use of various sex toys, provocative nudity that focuses on “exposed genitalia,” clothed but aroused genitalia, explicit art or “hentai” which is Japanese animated porn.

Users can post some nudity provided it is of a documentary nature such as videos of nude protestors or nude models in an artistic setting. Also allowed are breastfeeding videos and “suggestive dancing” provided the subject is fully clothed. Users who violate the new rules will have their accounts suspended.

Soon after Vine launched a year ago, six-second porn videos surfaced and at first Twitter tried to minimize the impact of porn not by prohibiting it, but by making it difficult to find in Vine’s search functions. Other strategies were employed to keep the seedy underside of a supposedly family friendly app undercover. These involved preventing porn from getting onto the various lists that served to promote the most popular videos or lists of videos that editors thought were particularly brilliant. Vine also raised the minimum age requirement to download and install the app from 12 to the age of 17, although this sort of “rule” is easily thwarted. In addition, they added a disclaimer that warned of “frequent/intense sexual content or nudity” which may have actually served to attract users in addition to providing a content warning.

Despite these efforts, at one point a particularly explicit porn video managed to be listed as an editor’s favorite video pick prompting user outrage and an apology from Twitter for the salacious material. Twitter claimed “human error” resulted in the video landing on the list that the Vine community commonly uses as resource to find exceptional video posts.

Due to that incident, the fact that Vine users were posting porn became public knowledge. However, the porn really hit the fan when a young user posted an explicit video of himself having sex with a ham and cheese Hot Pocket, which is a microwaveable lunch item. While the editor’s favorite video pick was one thing, the sex with a sandwich story went viral. At that point, there was no return and Vine’s six-second sex industry was exposed prompting them to change their rules and clean up their terms of service.

Vine is following in the footsteps of other social media sites that have already implemented terms of service that ban porn and will rely on Vine users to report infractions. Vine does not expect their app traffic to diminish because of the porn ban stating that it will not affect 99% of their users whose six-second videos are generally not of a pornographic nature. The Vine users with explicit posts have been instructed to clean up their accounts in accordance with the new rules or face suspension. In an attempt to make the transition to a more family friendly environment an equitable one, users with explicit content have been provided with a tool to download their spontaneous, meaningful expressions of porn and have been given a grace period in which to do so.

By Alana Marie Burke
Follow Alana on Twitter

Sources:

CNN
ZDNET
Vine
Twitter Support FAQ

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