The app Vine is considered popular between tweens and teens. Although the stated age requirement is 17, parents should be aware of content and cyberbullying concerns.
What is it?
Vine is Twitter’s mobile app that allows users to make and share short videos. The videos or “vines” are only 6 seconds or less in length, and they continually loop so the same 6 seconds shows over and over. The videos are shared with other Vine users who you follow and can be shared on Facebook or Twitter.
The age limit to use the app is 17. It is available on both Apple devices and Android devices. The App Store lists one of the reasons for the age limit as “Frequent/Intense Sexual Content or Nudity.” When Vine was first released, the age limit was 12. Pornography appeared almost immediately and after a public disapproval, the age limit was raised to 17.
Pornography and Disturbing Content
Twitter has taken some steps to stop the rampant posting of pornography on Vine, but CNN noted, “Twitter is not assembling a full-time Vine porn enforcement task force. The content will largely be flagged by other Vine members.” So it’s entirely possible for your tweens and teens to still watch porn on Vine.
Because we, parents, are not always with our kids and their electronic devices, it would be a good idea to restrict what they may download by age limits and content ratings. At least until you approve what they are wanting to add to their devices. We have found a great site called BeWebSmart.com that has great instructions on how to do so.
Vine also recently introduced messaging. That goes for both “friends” in the user’s network and “other”, meaning people you don’t know. It is a popular way to communicate, but messaging can also be a way for kids to bully other kids. In addition, unless your tween or teen makes the effort to turn off the messages from “others”, weir and disturbing people can message them. Messaging can also lead to sexting.
When you first log on to Vine, it seems like no big deal. The sections seem harmless, fun and educational and appropriate for tweens and teens. But because the internet has a dark side, creepy people can search by location to find kids in their area using Vine. Share with other parents what they need to know about the app Vine.