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Vine is a mobile video-recording application developed by Twitter that allows its users to create, upload and share short video clips spanning up to six seconds in length.
Originally developed by Dom Hofmann and Rus Yusupov in June 2012, the New York City-based company was acquired by Twitter in October 2012 and introduced to the public in January 2013.
Within the first week of its launch, pornographic video clips reportedly began appearing on the service, prompting Gawker to label the app “America’s Hottest New Porn Search Engine” in an article published on January 27th. On the following day, a sexually explicit video clip titled “DildoPlay” was accidentally featured as an “Editor’s Pick” on every Vine user’s newsfeed page, further drawing criticisms and mockeries from the tech news blogosphere. Later that same day, a Twitter spokesperson issued an apology, explaining that:
“a human error resulted in a video with adult content becoming one of the videos in Editor’s Picks, and upon realizing this mistake we removed the video immediately.”
While uploading pornography is not prohibited by Twitter’s guidelines, several tags containing sexually explicit terms were blocked as a result and the minimum age limit for the iPhone app was raised from 12 to 17 to comply with Apple’s iTunes terms of service.
Users can create short video clips with audio that are up to six seconds long. The camera only records while the screen is being tapped by the photographer, thus allowing users to easily jump cut from one scene to another or to create a stop motion animation in similar vein of GIF moving images. The finished image can then be shared on Vine or Twitter. As of March 2013, the app is only available on Apple iOS.
Kitten Kicking Vine Controversy
In July 2013, South Carolinian teenager Walter Easley uploaded a Vine video of himself punting a small orange kitten off of a porch into the yard (shown below). The video soon went viral in early August after it was posted to 4chan and Reddit, where many angry users began posting Easley’s personally identifiable information. The controversy eventually came to an end with Easley arrested on charges of animal cruelty.
Air B&B’s Vine Film Project
In August 2013, vacation rental website Airbnb announced a hashtag campaign in an attempt to make the first crowd-sourced film shot entirely on Vine. According to the official site Hollywood & Vines, Airbnb’s creative team will tweet “shot instructions” from August 22nd to August 27th, during which participants may pick an instruction, shoot a Vine video and share it using the hashtag #airbnbhv. The best of the submissions will be then edited into a longer film to be aired on the Sundance Channel and the finalists will receive a $100 coupon for an Airbnb stay.
In February 2013, artist Marlo Meekins shared a vine clip of herself turning her head towards the camera and drooling liquid from the mouth, while listening to “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M. In the following days, numerous other viners shared their own versions with the hashtag #everybodyspurts.
Will Sasso’s Lemon Vines
In February 2013, MAD TV comedian Will Sasso uploaded Vine videos of himself seemingly doing everyday things before suddenly spewing out water and a lemon.
Ryan Gosling Won’t Eat His Cereal
In April 2013, Vine user Ryan McHenry began uploading a series of videos titled “Ryan Gosling Won’t Eat His Cereal,” pairing various screen projections of Gosling’s intense acting scenes with a slowly approaching spoon full of cereal.
In June 2013, Vine user Max Jerry tweeted a video clip titled “Smack Cam,” in which he slaps a man laying on a couch in the face. The video spawned many other Vine users to share videos of themselves hitting unsuspecting friends in the head.