Twitter's Vine loses Apple's Editors' Choice designation amid porn concerns
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has stripped Twitter's new Vine video sharing application of its App Store Editors' Choice designation following reports that users are uploading sexually explicit clips.
Twitter launched Vine late last week. The app enables iOS device owners to film and share videos running no longer than six seconds; users can film clips in a single take or pause the recording to string together montages of brief shots. Immediately after the app went live, Apple named Vine this week's App Store Editors' Choice, prominently spotlighting the solution at the top of the digital storefront's homepage.
This weekend, CNet reported that Vine searches for #porn, #sex, and other similar hashtags yields a handful of videos featuring male exhibitionism and other adult activity. Compounding matters, a pornographic video briefly made Vine's Editor's Picks list Monday--the clip was quickly removed and Twitter issued a brief statement reading "A human error resulted in a video with adult content becoming one of the videos in Editor's Picks, and upon realizing this mistake we removed the video immediately."
Although Vine remains available for download from the App Store, it is no longer an Editors' Choice: As of Monday, the banner atop the homepage is instead promoting Capcom's new Ghostbusters game. An Apple spokesperson declined to comment on the move.
Because Apple's guidelines for third-party iOS apps distributed through the App Store strictly prohibit illicit content, some onlookers question whether the company will eventually boot Vine on a permanent basis. Just last week, Apple ousted photo-sharing startup 500px from its storefront, citing issues with objectionable content and potential child pornography violations.
Vine's terms of service do not expressly forbid explicit content, but Twitter states "You are responsible for your use of the Services, for any Content you post to the Services, and for any consequences thereof. The Content you submit, post, or display will be able to be viewed by other users of the Services and through third-party services and websites. You should only provide Content that you are comfortable sharing with others under these Terms."
Twitter has traditionally promised users a censorship-free environment (excluding instances of illegality), but a spokesperson told CNet that users may flag Vine videos they find offensive, and if clips generate enough complaints, Twitter will add an adult content warning before the video begins. "Uploaded videos that are reported and determined to violate our guidelines will be removed from the site, and the user that posted the video may be terminated," Twitter said.
- read this CNet article
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