The popular video sharing app Vine has recently released an update, Vine now includes private text and video messaging between users and non users. Instagram has had private photo or video messaging for a few months, so it’s not surprising that Vine has now launched the same option.
Because of this new messaging feature, it’s really important to make sure that you have your privacy settings enabled on Vine the way you want them. If you would rather only be sent messages from people you know, be sure you set the privacy settings up accordingly. It’s also very important to make sure your teen or younger child, if they are using Vine, do the same.
Vine is restricted to age 17+ Why?
Vine is restricted to age 17+ users on the app stores due to the adult content available within the app. Vine also enables users to post public videos and connect with each other. Meaning that there is a risk your child will connect with adults and strangers on Vine. It’s an adult social network with no child friendly filters. There are privacy settings, but you cannot filter out adult content on this app.
Vine recently announced they were going to ban anyone who uploaded pornographic content, however nudity is not entirely banned if it’s non sexual. As with all adult social media, Vine still has a lot of adult content, including drug use, swearing, and violence. Vine videos can be reported if they contain objectionable content. There is still porn available on Vine if you know where to find it.
What is okay to post?
We allow depictions of nudity or partial nudity that are primarily documentary, educational or artistic in nature. We also allow suggestive posts, just not sexually explicit ones.
Examples of what’s okay to post:
- Nudity in a documentary context, e.g. Videos of nude protestors
- Nudity in an artistic context, e.g. nude modeling in an art class
- Nudity that is not sexually provocative, e.g. a mother breastfeeding her child
- Clothed sexually suggestive dancing
See more about the restrictions on Vine’s Blog Here
How Vine Works
Vine is a mobile app for sharing short 6 second videos. It has a public stream where videos can be sorted by subject matter. You can also add #Hashtags to your video to help your video be found amongst the millions uploaded every day. A popular #Hashtag for kids and teens is #Bored. Videos must only be 6 seconds in length so users have to be very creative to get the best 6 seconds in their video.
What Parents Need To Know
Vine is a huge video social network and anyone can see share and comment on your children’s videos if your child doesn’t enable and maintain strict privacy settings.
Scrolling through the general public feed, there are a huge number of underage kids using Vine without any privacy settings, Some of the users are as young as 7 or 8 years old. Public Vine video’s can also be shared beyond Vine onto other social media platforms or in messages either on Vine or off. Now Vine users can also privately message friends or any other user who hasn’t enabled any privacy settings with a video or text.
When I was browsing Vine’s public feed I saw this video…. (See above pic) This girl looked about 7 years old, in her video she is lip syncing a song and pulling faces, under the video is a comment from a much older “Zack” asking her if she has a Kik Messenger account. This means he wants to talk to her privately. It is sickening to think that a girl this young who is uploading video’s can be seen by anyone and is being contacted probably by a complete stranger who wants to get her into a private chat. With this latest update “Zack” if he wants, can send her a private video message of anything he wants to show her. Vine won’t know if he sends her a video that shows “adults only” content unless she reports it, and with no privacy settings set up, she will see the message before she has a chance to block him.
The ability for complete strangers to comment and now message your child if they use Vine is very worrisome. Yes, your child can set up the privacy settings, but it won’t stop them from viewing adult content on Vine, and they can always change the privacy settings back to public any time. Vine is a video sharing app for adults, it is not designed for children, there are no parental control filters to filter out adult content.
As with all these types of video and social media apps, many kids see it as an opportunity to gain followers or fans. They want to be popular and noticed. This leads to many of them collecting adult followers as well as other kids.
What Parents Should Do?
Research all apps your child wants to use, and make sure you are happy with the content and the safety and privacy settings. Stick with the age restrictions, but be aware that some apps don’t have accurate age restrictions, if it says 4+ be sure that it has been listed properly. Any app that is listed as 17+ is usually complying with a listing set by the store due to past issues with adult content or being dangerous for kids use.
Educate your children about uploading only safe video and photos. Discourage them from uploading pictures and video of themselves. Be sure you and your children understand how far the reach of Vine can go. Find the privacy settings and messaging settings on all apps, and set them to the level of privacy you desire.
The Privacy Settings:
Go to Profile – Settings – Your Content
For the best privacy make sure you set them the same as the one in the picture below. Protected posts means that your videos will not go out on the public Vine stream, your video’s will only be seen by your followers. Be sure you know and trust your followers. Your followers cannot share your video’s if they are protected, but keep in mind a video can be recorded in other ways.
“Sensitive posts” mean your posts may contain adult content.
“Open VM inbox”, means anyone can VM you (Video Message) you.
Turn off the Address book if you don’t want your address book on your phone accessed by Vine.