Earlier this week, we ran a post on 12-year-old Lillian Powers, a kid who had the audacity to do something productive over her summer break: She made a series of amazing 6-second short films via Vine. She screamed in public spaces (her "random shoutout" feature), she licked her cat, she deconstructed the modern practice of selfie-taking. From the hundreds of thousands of views and thousands of Facebook shares and Twitter mentions our post This 12-Year-Old Is a Vine Genius received, it was clear that many people had agreed with what probably seemed like a hyperbolic headline.
And then, it all went away.
As of this post, all of the Vines in our original Lillian Powers post are gone. Her videos are no longer in my Vine account's timeline. I worried that she or her mother became overwhelmed by the attention following our post (even though she had about 120,000 followers on Vine before I wrote anything about her) and closed her account. But then, after searching this morning, I discovered that Lillian Powers started a new Vine account, explaining that her old one had been suspended:
And then, an explanation:
"We found out why Vine suspended me: Because they say I'm too young to be on Vine. We're trying to fix it." This jibes with Vine's age rating, which raised from 12 to 17 in February following the explosion of pornography on the mini-movie platform. However, it makes no fucking sense to single out Lillian Powers, as the site is teeming with people who are "too young" to be on it. Lillian Powers is a victim of her own cleverness and popularity and stifling the creativity of someone who uses Vine just about better than anyone else that I've seen is horribly unjust. It's not right. It's not OK. Free Lillian.
In the meantime, Lillian is filling her account with new videos, including one of her being interviewed by Detroit's WWJ Newsradio 950:
She also made her greatest random shoutout yet:
I reached out to Vine/Twitter for a comment and so far have not heard back. I will update this post if and when I do. In the meantime, #FreeLillian.