Porn Hashtag Gets Popular on Twitter App Vine

(Screenshot: USA Today article / Michael Juliani)

The Twitter app Vine offered journalists (professional and citizen alike) a tool for sharing six-second video clips on their feeds. In early demos, Vine CEOs and eager journalists practiced by showing six seconds of the process of making steak tartare and throwing away their coffee cups. But overwhelmingly, users have taken to Vine to post porn on Twitter, according to USA Today.

Tags like #sex and #porn began appearing on the app, and The Verge reported that one porn clip somehow made it as one of Twitter’s Editor’s Picks. (The clip was removed, labeled as a “human error.”)

ALSO SEE: Apple has a porn problem, and it’s about to get worse

As we know, the tools becoming available for citizen journalism are only expanding. While it seems easy to discount Vine for its early rush of X-rated content, perhaps it’s better to say “So what?” After all, journalism will be journalism, and porn will be porn (except if it becomes an Editor’s Pick).

For its part, Twitter released this statement in response:

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.

Manti Te’o’s Imaginary Girlfriend a Cautionary Tale for Journalists

Back when football stars didn’t require so much publicity. (Flickr Creative Commons: OSU Special Collections & Archives)

Social media deception was the crux of America’s biggest story Wednesday, as online outlet broke that Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o had either lied or been lied to about the death of his imaginary girlfriend.  Though ESPN claimed to have known about the story for more than a week, Deadspin first published news of the deception, causing media reporters to take a fresh look at the wisdom of trusting online sources.

South Bend Tribune writers came under question for stories they wrote about Te’o’s alleged girlfriend’s death, but over at The Verge they’re wondering what this revelation should teach us about social media skepticism.  Does this redefine how reporters use social media to engage sources and conduct interviews?

In J-school you sometimes hear the adage that you can never be sure exactly who it is responding to your emails and returning your calls, and social media certainly exists in a deeper layer of anonymity than those mediums.  Several student newspapers have recently outlawed email interviews.

This story will continue to tailspin, as many inconsistent details suggest Te’o may have known all along that the person he communicated with online (he says) was not a young woman who loved him until she died.