POSTED: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - 5:55am
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - 11:04am
The age rating for new mobile video-sharing app Vine has been raised to 17+, meaning appropriate for users 17 and older, after it was flooded with pornographic images.
Since its launch two weeks ago, the Twitter-owned Vine had been rated 12+ in Apple's App Store, the only place it is currently available. But sexually explicit video clips almost immediately began appearing within the app, including one mistakenly showcased in its "Editor's Picks" section, drawing outrage from some users.
The new rating, for such criteria as "frequent/intense sexual content or nudity," means users wishing to download Vine must click on a window promising that they are over 17. There is no age-verification system, however, and nothing to stop younger users from downloading the app.
The changes are part of an update to Vine, announced Wednesday, that also allow users to block or report a profile they find offensive.
Twitter had already taken steps last week to restrict how users can share sexually explicit clips. Hashtags for such search terms as "porn," "nude," "sex" and "naked" no longer delivered any results.
The issue made headlines January 28 when Vine users noticed a video of what was described as hardcore pornography showcased in the prominent Editor's Picks section of the mobile app. Twitter pulled the clip and apologized, saying it was a mistake.
Tumblr, the popular blogging platform that includes some porn among its roughly 92 million blogs, soon afterwards reclassified itself with the 17+ tag.
Apps are typically submitted to Apple with a suggested age rating, although Apple can request that the rating be changed. In the App Store, 17+ is the most restrictive rating.