Parents, do you recall seeing the icon below on your child’s iPhone the last time you perused their apps?
If so, then your child has an account on a popular mobile application called ‘Vine’.
Vine, which is owned by Twitter, enables users to create and post video clips with a maximum length of seven and a half seconds. Any video clip will loop endlessly as long as the video is displayed on your smartphone screen.
These posts can be shared on Twitter or Facebook, and can also be embedded on other websites and shared via a Vine generated link.
Why is it dangerous?
What could possibly happen in a matter of seven and a half seconds?
Vine has been a controversial app for many reasons. Less than a week after its debut in mid-2012, pornographic clips started appearing on the service, and as pornography is not forbidden by Twitter’s guidelines, one of the explicit videos was featured on the service’s ‘Editor’s Pick’ page.
In response to outcry from the public, the age limit to download the Vine app was raised from 12 to 17, which means that when the application is downloaded from the app store, the downloader must confirm that they are 17 years of age or older.
Vine has also been the home of other trends popular with tweens and teens (also called memes), such as #SmackCam, which is a video of an unsuspecting victim being smacked.
You’re the parent – you can pick and choose what applications you allow your child to use – but don’t let them run all over you. Be the expert of your child’s smartphone. Spend time getting to know the applications they use, and be the one to teach them how to use them safely.
Do you have questions? Tweet them to me @tctompkins, or comment below.