So on January 24, 2013, Twitter launched its new Vine app – a cute little thing that allows users to create six second videos that play in a loop on their timeline. Apple subsequently picked the app up as an “Editors’ Choice” selection, something that pretty much guarantees any bit of software’s success.
But oh em gee if it didn’t take all of two minutes for users to create and share “pornographic” content via Vine. One such “pornographic” loop was even playing up on the Apple site – oh myyyy!! Apple immediately pulled Vine’s elite statue, but (as of now) continues to offer the app in its store. Twitter has issued an apology, citing “human error” for the egregious indiscretion. (all about that here)
On Monday (January 28, 2013), right when all of this was breaking news, I was contacted to weigh in on Bloomberg TV‘s Bloomberg West with host Emily Chang – sweet!! It was supposed to be a five minute spot that I was happy to do.
(pictured: worst screen grab EVER!! haha :)
Unfortunately, news is news and TV is TV and my five minutes ended up being more like one – le sigh!! I still got to make a couple good points, though :)
What I really wanted to make clear was:
I highly doubt any of the “pornographic” content that we’re already seeing on Vine is actually generated by professional adult content producers. People who create adult content professionally don’t want to lose access to their social media platforms and tend to use them within platform-specific terms of service (TOS). “Average” users, however, like to share, often with little regard for TOS – we are seeing this more and more every day.
This issue is certainly related to what goes (and what doesn’t), making obvious the need to clearly define Vine’s TOS. As I said, because adult industry professionals invest a lot in furthering their brands via cultivating social media, it behooves them to NOT lose access to these platforms. If TOS are clearly defined, I’m willing to bet industry professionals comply.
Selective enforcement is an issue – what constitutes “pornographic”? And is the attribution of “pornographic” being enforced equally? In other words, is a Vine version of a fine art nude left alone while a cam girl’s panty pics are removed, etc?
Now obviously, one cannot say that *all* of any group of people are behaving in one way or another; but it has been my observation over the years that this is true: porn professionals use social media platforms… professionally. And legally. It’s all us “civilian” fools that are posting our hardcore shower time and dick pics in places they don’t belong (like Vine).
In my opinion, as long as TOS are clearly defined and equally enforced, Vine is good. Anything else can be taken down. Like any other privately held service, Vine can define their terms of service however they see fit… and Apple can keep its hardline standards – it’s their prerogative, and I support it.
One question remains, though – what about the potential obscene-and-illegal-content Pandora’s box that Vine may be opening?
Well, actual obscenity is hard to prove. As long as we’re not talking about illegal content that’s automatically deemed obscene (ie content showing the abuse of minor-aged persons), what’s we’re left with is the vast, almost endlessly variable, concept of “offensive” …because what’s offensive to you may not be to the next person.
Can something be offensive in six Vine seconds? Probably. But chances are that content was offensive to Person X before it even began playing… just like something that’s obscene by today’s existing legal standards is likely obscene before it ever even begins. Those things should be taken down, and the users who uploaded them prosecuted accordingly. Duh.
So yeah… there you go!! You can watch my shiny (hot lights!!) self not knowing she had one minute to get all that out right here – enjoy!!
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