Vine Won’t Say If It Banned Porn Because of Hot Pocket Incident

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Vine's days of providing looping, six-second snippets of filth is over Julian Stratenschulte/picture-alliance/dpa/AP

Vine, the Twitter-owned mobile video app, has formally banned “explicit sexual content” from being shared in a blog post announcing the change to its Terms of Service. The move arrives a little more than a year after Vine spawned a digital underbelly of looping, six-second snippets of filth — and two weeks after it suspended a user who engaged in some well-publicized and highly indecent activity with a Hot Pocket.

“For more than 99 percent of our users, this doesn’t really change anything,” the statement reads. “For the rest: we don’t have a problem with explicit sexual content on the Internet — we just prefer not to be the source of it.

The Wire’s Brian Feldman, among other observers, has considered whether the teenaged explorer might have inadvertently prompted the policy change. The incident was “probably the most viral thing to happen on Vine in the last month,” Feldman points out.

Vine won’t say.

“We really did give our reasoning for it in the blog [post],” Twitter communications rep Jim Prosser said when reached via email. When asked specifically about the literal food porn, Prosser said, “We don't comment on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons.”

But that’s not to say all private activity is banished to the dungeon or, worse, 4Chan. Prosser also pointed to an FAQ explaining that nudity in a documentary or artistic context remains permissible, while “sex acts,” “sexually provocative nudity,” and “close-ups of aroused genitals underneath clothing” are all bannable offenses.

Newsweek did not deign to ask whether a microwavable ham-and-cheese turnover video might qualify as “an artistic context.”

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