Vine has previously taken steps to hide pornographic and sexually explicit videos shared by its users, but today it's outright banning the content. The company has updated both its rules and terms of service to prohibit sexually explicit material. "As we’ve watched the community and your creativity grow and evolve, we’ve found that there’s a very small percentage of videos that are not a good fit for our community," the company said in a blog post. "For more than 99 percent of our users, this doesn’t really change anything."
It seems as though Vine is also looking to head off any censorship controversy by outright admitting, "We don’t have a problem with explicit sexual content on the Internet –– we just prefer not to be the source of it." The changes are effective immediately, and Vine has posted a help center article to help users understand what sort of clips are permitted compared to those that are now banned. Videos of sexual acts, sexually provocative nudity, and closeups of "aroused genitals underneath clothing" are strictly prohibited — as are artistic or animated videos that are sexually graphic. Vine says that depictions of nudity or partial nudity that are "primarily documentary, educational or artistic in nature" are still allowed under the new rules.
Vine previously attempted to swipe such content under the rug by deleting suggestive hashtags and other easy routes to pornographic material, but clearly the company feels its best option is to eliminate the problem entirely. Users that violate the new policy will face account suspensions, and a permanent ban will be levied upon repeat offenders.