Twitter’s Vine update adds age restrictions

Caitlin McGarry
8 February, 2013
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You now have to be at least 17 years old to use Twitter’s new video app, Vine.

In an update released Wednesday, Vine added an age restriction because of aprevalent porn problem. Almost immediately after Vine hit iTunes last month, users began uploading six-second pornographic clips.

Apple, which has in the past removed apps with pornographic content, didn’t comment on Vine’s NSFW videos, but the age restriction in iTunes signals Twitter’s awareness of the problem.

Will it work?

When it launched, Vine was approved for users over 12. Now, when new users download the iOS-only app, they will have to confirm that they are 17 years or older. There’s no real way to prove your age, so it’s unclear exactly how successful the restriction will be in preventing underage eyes from viewing graphic videos.

Twitter also made pornographic content harder to search for by removing common tags that were being used to find graphic videos. In the previous version of the app, users could report graphic or offensive videos, but clips were only removed if they were in violation of Vine’s terms of service, which doesn’t mention porn or nudity. The update released Wednesday now allows people to report and block other users, not just specific videos.

In its update, Vine also added social sharing, so users can post videos and then share them on Twitter and Facebook.

Twitter changes

Twitter also updated its own apps for iOS and Android on Wednesday. The apps now offer easier ways to discover and search tweets in a single-stream format, rather than displaying trends and activities in separate tabs. Also, clicking on a link within a tweet will now take you directly to the link instead of showing the tweet in an expanded view.

Twitter’s Connect section, also available on its mobile site, now shows retweets, follows, and mentions in a single stream as the default. You can change the settings to see mentions as the default option instead.

 

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