Twitter has banned pornographic and sexually explicit content on its social video service Vine. In a blog post, the company has clarified that starting Thursday, March 6, 2014, it has made changes to the rules and Terms of Service for Vine. Following this, Vine users would not be allowed to post explicit content using the service. The company will also be taking steps to remove all such existing content from its servers with the help of users who would flag and report them.
Vine’s blog post says; “As we’ve watched the community and your creativity grow and evolve, we’ve found that there’s a very small percentage of videos that are not a good fit for our community.” Twitter’s Help Center throws more light on the kind of content that one can post on Vine. For example, people would be allowed to post explicit content that depict nudity in a documentary and artistic context, e.g. videos of nude protesters or a nude model in an art class. Also included in the allowed list are breastfeeding and sexually suggestive dancing videos. It is unclear at this moment as to how well Twitter would be able to make clear distinctions between what is allowed and what is not allowed on Vine.
Ever since Twitter introduced Vine last year, there were reports about the presence of user uploaded pornographic content on the service. In fact, the first of these clips were reported in the very first week of the début of Vine. In the past, there was an instance of a pornographic clip making it to the ‘Editor’s Pick’ tab on Vine resulting in huge outrage. While Twitter officials were initially alarmed by the upsurge of sexual content on Vine, the only effort they took until now was to increase the minimum age restriction for using Vine from 12 years to 17 years.
A CNN report on this development adds that Twitter would temporarily suspend the accounts of Vine users who have uploaded such content and refuse to remove them after their content is flagged. Repeat offenders would risk their accounts getting deleted permanently. As mentioned previously, these videos would be flagged and reported by Vine community members. A Twitter spokesperson has confirmed that users would be given a certain amount of time to remove the videos. It is also pertinent to note that these changes to Vine’s terms of service come just days after a kid posted a video of himself having sex with a Hot Pocket. Many people wonder if this was the last straw which prompted Twitter to enforce this ban.
The people most affected by these changes to Vine’s Terms of Service would be actors from the porn industry who have been increasingly using it to promote themselves and their movies, says the LA Times. It would be life as usual for other Vine users who have not been using it to watch or upload explicit content.
Do you think it was right on the part of Twitter to ban explicit videos on Vine?