Horrible

Boy Commits Suicide After Being Bullied for Alleged Masturbation Video

Mr. Burdette. (Facebook)

This week in horrible news, a California teen has committed suicide after a video of him allegedly masturbating went viral on social media.

Matthew Burdette, 14, reportedly killed himself on November 29 — not long after a classmate secretly filmed him over the top of a bathroom stall, and shared the video on Snapchat and Vine. The video, which appeared to depict Mr. Burdette masturbating, went viral, and allegedly led other kids to bully him intensely. Now, Mr. Burdette’s parents are suing his school district for not doing enough to prevent the bullying. Read More

Law and Order

Vine Star Curtis Lepore Seems Confused About the Meaning of Consent

Curtis Lepore (Twitter)

Nothing in this world can be certain except death, taxes and Vine celeb Curtis Lepore being an insufferable jerk about his rape case.

Mr. Lepore was accused of raping his ex-girlfriend and fellow Vine star, Jessi Smiles, last August. We don’t know what exactly happened between Mr. Lepore and Ms. Smiles when the alleged rape occurred, but we do know that Mr. Lepore took a plea deal on Feb. 21, wherein he pled guilty to felony assault charges and effectively cleared himself of the rape charge.

Mr. Lepore then proceeded to act like a total dick as he openly celebrated the plea deal on social media.

Now, in a Rolling Stone piece called “The Six Seconds Between Love and Hate: A Vine Romance Gone Wrong,” Mr. Lepore is at his piggish behavior again — this time perpetuating victim blaming and a pretty screwed-up concept of consent. Read More

All Covered With Vines

Simply Sylvio, Evan Hilton Win Tribeca Film Awards For Vine

(Screengrab via Vine)

It’s 2014, and that means you can get an award from Robert DeNiro’s prestigious Tribeca Film Festival for making a Vine — and you could end up making money. Technology, huh?

Five Viners are being recognized by TFF today in the second annual #6SecFilms contest for their outstanding work in the looping six-second-film genre. Accolades are being presented in the categories of drama (yes, drama!), comedy, animation and genre. There’s also a #6SecFilms Audience Award. Read More

All Covered With Vines

Adorable Folk Singers Are First Vine Musicians To Sign With Major Record Label

SO CUTE. SO TALENTED. (Screengrab: Vine)

If Justin Bieber was able to launch a music (and tech?) career from a bunch of Youtube videos, then this had to be the natural next step.

Michael and Carissa Rae Alvarado — who comprise husband-and-wife folk-pop duo “Us” — have become the first Vine musicians to sign with a major record label, Billboard reports. After just four months of posting six-second clips of their music, the pair signed with Republic Records on March 18. Read More

All Covered With Vines

‘Gummy Money’ Graduation: Vine Star Nicholas Megalis Makes a Music Video

(Screengrab via YouTube)

Vine has only been around for about a year, but it’s already leaving its mark culturally. “Vine celebs” are a collection of mostly teens and 20-somethings who regale their hundreds of thousands (or millions) of followers with short bursts of comedy and weirdness. A bunch of them even get paid for it.

And now, one of Vine’s most famous and beloved users, Nicholas Megalis, has released a music video to accompany his iTunes-charting single, “Gummy Money.” The song, of course, grew out of a Vine. Read More

All Covered With Vines

One Year In, Vine Is the Millennials’ Answer to Saturday Night Live

Nicholas Megalis turned his hit Gummy Money Vine into a full length song that climbed the iTunes charts. (Screengrab: Vine.co)

When Vine was launched on this day last year, many self–proclaimed social media experts scoffed. They assumed it would be used like a live–action Instagram, full of insufferable brunches, FOMO–inducing party pics, and narcissistic selfies.

But the network unexpectedly turned into a huge platform for burgeoning comedians. These “Vine celebs” were unknowns last year, and now make a living by being funny on the year–old network. Read More

Law and Order

Vine Celeb Curtis Lepore Accused of Raping His Viner Girlfriend

Curtis Lepore loving salsa. (Screenshot: Vine)

Young users of social–media–cum–video-app Vine worship a group of users known as Vine celebs. The self–made stars have giant followings and often take trips across the country to meet and collaborate.

Some become friends, and others start dating, as was the case with Curtis Lepore and Jessi “Smiles” Vazquez. Now, TMZ reports that Mr. Lepore is on trial for charges of raping Ms. Vazquez while she slept in October. Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: Start Saving Because Uber’s Surge Pricing Is Here to Stay

"Keep complaining!" - Uber CEO Travis Kalanick (Photo: Tech Cocktail)

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick hears you complaining about surge pricing, but doesn’t care. He says the model is here to stay. [WSJ]

At CES, Yahoo announced a streamlined ad business unit to act as a “central suite of tools for online advertisers to manage all of their buys.” Sounds important. [AdWeek]

Every day Yahoo dreams about content: Marissa Mayer announced the launch of Food and Tech verticals in a splashy presentation that included SNL cast members. [USA Today]

Vine cofounder Dom Hofmann is reducing his role at the company as he focuses his efforts on a new startup. Colin Kroll, the video site’s other founder, will assume his duties. [The Verge]

Avoid Twitter on Feb. 5. That’s when it releases its first-ever quarterly results so you know everyone’s jokes are going to be insufferable. [Recode]

All Covered With Vines

Vine Creates Browser Version, Ensures Potential Employers See All Your Dumb Videos

vine 17

You might have thought nobody but your fellow six-second video enthusiasts would see your collection of Vine videos. The bad impressions, the corny jokes, the failed stunts — they were dumb, but at least they were largely confined to people who care about Vine.

But now, Twitter-owned Vine has beefed up its web presence to make it easier for people to find, browse and share your videos.  Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: Vine Begins Rolling Out Vanity URLs Tomorrow

Goodbye friends. (Photo: WNYC)

Rachel Haot, the city’s chief digital officer, doesn’t need to worry about her future employment plans. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has hired her to take a similar in his administration.  [New York Times]

Bow down: Unless your name is Beyonce, people are done buying your stupid music online. [AllThingsD]

Tomorrow morning, Vine users will start having the option of creating their own URLs utilizing their usernames. [The Next Web]

Even hackers will do anything to bypass pay walls. This time, they reportedly hacked into the Washington Post‘s servers and had access to employee’s usernames and passwords. [Daily Dot]

Both CEO Mark Zuckerberg and board member Marc Andreessen are selling millions of their Facebook shares. [BI]