Sorry Vine, your porn problem isn’t going anywhere

xxxvineThe Internet used to be for porn (at least, more for than it is now), and then the safety nets went up to keep young and pure eyes (and ears) away from such content. And it looks like the same thing is happening with social media. The recent fall out over Vine and its NSWF issue, however, has made us realize one thing: Porn just follows one of the primary rules of the internet – adapt. 

When Vine first appeared, it was set into the wild with an encouraging push from Twitter, all wide-eyed and bushy-tailed – and unregulated. You could search for tags as obvious as “NSFW” or the more blatant “boobs” and find results… lots of results. And notoriously, due to a supposed human error, a vine called “Dildoplay” made it onto the Editor’s Picks list on the app (you can’t help but wonder how the resulting meeting went down). 

It looked like Vine was at risk of going the way the Post Secret app did, which is to say out of the iOS App Store swiftly after its launch thanks to pornographic, gruesome, and even threatening images that a small team of moderators (in PostSecret’s case, largely made up of volunteers) just couldn’t keep up. The App Store rules say that apps which “contain user generated content that is frequently pornographic” will get the boot, and mention ChatRoulette by name in its examples of things which don’t fly. 

Vine’s terms of service didn’t even prohibit explicit imagery or nudity – and still don’t (though it does note that threats prohibited). While the company maintains the right to “respond to user support requests,” nowhere does it explicitly say that the explicit is not OK. That hasn’t changed, but the ability to use tags to find porn has been dropped.

Since Vine’s early days, hashtags like #boobs and #smut get just sad face “nothing to see here” results. #Sex101 brings up a strangely adorable vine of stuffed animals posed in various coital positions, but no actual human body parts.

vine suicidegirlsBut there are still loopholes. For example, the SuicideGirls account shows off full-frontal shots of tattooed models. Scrolling through, the first few Vines play a series of very adult theme images… but get about four or five videos in, and suddenly you see warnings about sensitive content you need to tap to view. Clearly, the Vine team is having trouble keeping up with what’s rolling in. While some of the more obvious hashtags aren’t pulling up the desired Vines, others are still rife with very adult videos (want to see for yourself? Search for #xxxvine or #xxxxxx and be prepared for what shows up).  

When it comes to depending on the App Store and functioning with a relatively small staff to rifle through content and its visual nature — and a tendency for attracting lewd images — Instagram sets the standard for flagging, finding, and pulling adult-themed pictures.

Today, Instagram has a 12+ rating in the iTunes store for, among other things, “Infrequent/Mild Sexual Content or Nudity.” Tags not allowed: #NSFW,# porn, and the like. And even the porn_stars and Suicidegirls accounts are more Victoria’s Secret than Penthouse. Instead of relying on an army of moderators, Instagram took out the obvious tags and then relies on the “Flag for Review” button.

tags instagram

Still, the masses are curious, so one user tried to see what he could get away with. The user posted a pic of boobs onto Instagram as @thebreastsofayounglady and reported the results. Within a day and a half, Instagram came calling with a warning:

It has come to our attention that one or more of the photos you’ve shared on Instagram violates our Community Guidelines, which can be found here.

In short, we ask that you:

  • Don’t share photos that aren’t yours.
  • Don’t share photos that show nudity or mature content.
  • Don’t share photos of illegal content.
  • Don’t share photos that attack an individual or group, or violate our Terms of Use.

Any violating images flagged by members of the Instagram community have been automatically removed, and we strongly suggest deleting any additional content on your account that may not fall in line with the above guidelines or our Terms of Use

It seems while plenty of users don’t mind a little T&A, others are policing pretty effectively.

Instagram has done an admirable job of cleaning itself up – but the point is that users will continue to post adult content, even if it keeps getting pulled. There are too many loopholes and too many people to keep porn off social networks entirely. Vine will have to learn from its predecessor’s experience if it wants to stay partnered with Twitter and maybe even fix that 17+ rating from the App Store. 

As more and more visual-sharing app take over social networking (and buddying up with big platforms like Facebook and Twitter), self-censorship is going to be incredibly important. And as we adapt and find ways to slip our dirty minds into these image-heavy feeds, they’ll need to keep on coming up with ways to warn us or block the content entirely. The Internet – and by extension, social media – will always be for porn, but now it’s also going to come with child locks attached. 

News

Japanese billionaire splashes the cash to break retweet record

Japanese billionaire entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa has proved again he has a knack for self-publicity after launching a cash-prize contest to break the retweet record. Maezawa is the same man who is hoping to go to the moon with SpaceX.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.
Mobile

Unleash your inner artist with the best drawing apps for the iPad Pro

The best drawing apps for the iPad Pro turn Apple's robust tablet into a canvas worthy of a true artist. Here are 20 of our current favorites, whether you're looking to keep things simple or take your art to the next level.
Computing

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Mobile

Keep up-to-date with the best news apps on iPhone and Android

Are the days of traditional newspapers and broadcast news dwindling? With apps this good, maybe. Catch up on the latest headlines on any platform with the best news apps on iOS and Android.
Social Media

Looking to share some content? Here's how to repost on Instagram

Ever seen a cool picture on Instagram that you wanted to share? There's no official means of reposting content on Instagram, but there are a few workarounds. We break down the two most logical choices for getting the job done.
Photography

Photoshop fail gives Aussie leader two left feet in official portrait

The Aussie prime minister doesn't have two left feet, despite an official photograph of the leader and his family suggesting otherwise. It was, of course, a Photoshop fail, and the embarrassing snafu was soon trending on Twitter.
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Social Media

Instagram now lets you post to multiple accounts in one tap

Instagram for iPhone now lets you post to multiple accounts at the same time. It's not the regram feature that many users have been asking for, but it could prove useful for some users who manage more than one profile.
Social Media

No yolk! A photo of an egg has become the most-liked post on Instagram

Until this weekend, the most-liked post on Instagram was of Kylie Jenner's baby daughter, which has around 18 million likes. It's now been knocked off the top spot not by a stunning sunset or even a cute cat, but by an egg.
Social Media

Invite your friends — Facebook Events can now be shared to Stories

Facebook is testing a way to make plans with friends to attend an event -- through Stories. By sharing an event in Facebook Stories, users can message other friends interested in the event to make plans to attend together.
Social Media

A quick swipe will soon let you keep bingeing YouTube on mobile devices

The YouTube mobile app has a new, faster way to browse: Swiping. Once the update rolls out, users can swipe to go to the next (or previous) video in the recommended list, even while viewing in full screen.
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.