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Wednesday 21.02.2018 | Name days: Eleonora, Ariadne

Apple has a porn problem, media reports suggest

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On Sunday, January 27, a number of news outlets ran stories covering the rise of easily-accessible pornography on the new video sharing app Vine, causing a firestorm of debate online. The New York Times‘ Nick Bilton tweeted that pornographic material was discoverable thanks to simple hashtags such as #porn.

The Verge wrote that Vine doesn’t have a porn problem — Apple has a policy problem.

The Twitter-owned app and service launched last week to much fanfare, mostly due to its ingenious editing functions, which allow users to stop and start a video recording. Vine is also notable as one of Twitter’s first major departures from its core social networking business. The iOS-only app was prominently featured by Apple as an “Editor’s Pick” in its App Store the day it launched, according to The Verge.

The news that pornography or nudity would find its way into a popular social app, which is focused on image or video sharing, takes a backseat to the larger question of how Apple will handle this flare-up.

Apple offered this statement: “The app was removed from the App Store for featuring pornographic images and material, a clear violation of our guidelines. We also received customer complaints about possible child pornography. We’ve asked the developer to put safeguards in place to prevent pornographic images and material in their app.”

Meanwhile, a cursory search of #porn and related hashtags within the Twitter iOS app unearths a cornucopia of adult material, yet Apple has taken no action in the case of that app, The Verge wrote.

Twitter responded to inquiries about Vine with the following statement: “Users can report videos as inappropriate within the product if they believe the content to be sensitive or inappropriate (e.g. nudity, violence, or medical procedures). Videos that have been reported as inappropriate have a warning message that a viewer must click through before viewing the video. Uploaded videos that are reported and determined to violate our guidelines will be removed from the site, and the user that posted the video may be terminated.”

However, according to Vine‘s terms of service, among the violations the company says it will take more decisive action on, “inappropriate” content is not listed as a catalyst.

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