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May 20, 2013 / JaymeJ

Vine – Instagram style app for video sharing

Reposted from Village School’s Tech Bytes
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Vine is the best way to see and share life in motion. Create short, beautiful, looping videos in a simple and fun way for your friends and family to see. (Description from the iTunes Store)

Sounds harmless enough, right? Wrong! 

While the 6-second looping videos are easy to make and fun to watch, there are few privacy controls on the app. Hashtags such as #teddybearpicnic, #magic, or #pets seem innocent enough, but are often posted by people who are intentionally exposing undesirable images to users who are searching for non-pornographic content.

In a recent article “Is Vine Dangerous for Kids? social media blogger and mom Brandi Jeter writes: “Everybody’s talking about Twitter’s new app Vine, but parents need to know that it may be risky for kids” She continues on with 5 things parents need to know about the Vine app. (Read her complete post for descriptions of each point below.)

  1. Vine is free, and it’s easy to sign up.
  2. Vine doesn’t verify age.
  3. You can’t block who follows you on Vine.
  4. It’s true. There’s porn on Vine.
  5. The 6-second videos are cool to watch — and make.
While the Vine Privacy Policy states that users must be over the age of 13, the Apple iTunes Store goes a step further – rating the app 17+ for:
  • Frequent/Intense Sexual Content or Nudity
  • Infrequent/Mild Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References
  • Infrequent/Mild Simulated Gambling
  • Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
  • Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humor
  • Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes
  • Infrequent/Mild Horror/Fear Themes
  • Infrequent/Mild Realistic Violence
A description of apps rated 17+ in the iTunes Store :

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Common Sense Media rates the Vine app NOT FOR KIDS due to the ease of accessing inappropriate content on the app. They say:

Parents need to know that Vine is a social media app that lets you post and watch looping six-second video clips. The Twitter-owned service has taken the online world by storm, but parents need to be aware that it is full of inappropriate content for children. With a little creative searching, kids can find nudity, sex, drug use, offensive language, and more. While there are plenty of cute, fun videos, even adults might be shocked at some of the things they find. In iTunes, the app is listed for 17+, and users must confirm that they are 17 or older before installing (this is as simple as tapping “OK” — there is no verification).

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