Sex sells as the saying goes. But it’s also landed the editor of Twitter’s new photo sharing app into a whole lot of hot water.
Launched last week as a way to share six-second video clips with friends, Vine has already coined a new phrase – microporn.
And now Twitter has been forced to apologise after a hardcore video featured in Vine’s editor’s picks.
The social network immediately blamed “human error” for the blunder, saying in a statement: “A human error resulted in a video with adult content becoming one of the videos in editor’s picks and, upon realising this mistake, we removed the video immediately. We apologise to our users for the error.”
The app was removed after being listed as an editor’s pick for several hours.
It is not clear how editor’s picks are chosen – whether it is an automated process or whether they are actually chosen by someone.
Twitter is now under increasing pressure to clean-up Vine, which has no age limit for children accessing it. While some Vine videos prompt users to “tap to view” rather than playing automatically like all other videos, this is no bar to viewing them and is unlikely to satisfy those worried about internet safety for young people.
Twitter earlier released a statement about its policy on inappropriate videos. “Users can report videos as inappropriate within the product if they believe the content to be sensitive or inappropriate (eg nudity, violence or medical procedures),” it said. “Videos that have been reported as inappropriate have a warning message that a viewer must click-through before viewing the video.
“Uploaded videos that are reported and determined to violate our guidelines will be removed from the site, and the user account that posted the video may be terminated.”
Vine is available free for Apple iPhones but, with Apple known for its tough stance on x-rated apps, it remains to be seen whether the Californian tech giant will want to continue to be associated with Vine.
Earlier this month, Apple removed the popular 500px app from its iOS App Store for including pornography and over alleged images of child abuse.
Twitter launched Vine earlier this month to stop users going elsewhere for their video-sharing. It enables users to share clips up to six seconds in length, which play on a loop within tweets.
The app comes after an acquisition Twitter made in October last year, when it bought a start-up called Vine, which hadn’t launched the app at the time of purchase. Users of Vine are encouraged to log in using their Twitter account, although that isn’t compulsory.
Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann said the new app was a good fit with Twitter because both had abbreviated messages. “Posts on Vine are about abbreviation,” he said in a blog post, “the shortened form of something larger. They’re little windows into the people, settings, ideas and objects that make up your life. They’re quirky and we think that’s part of what makes them so special.”