Let's be clear right now and preface that what you're about to see will, if you're human, make your blood boil. And that the next few images require a trigger warning. I tried to write this story without the images and vines they're referencing, and I'm not sure if it'd be possible to convey the impact without them. 

Vine is a spectacular social media platform. Yet, it also has a way of spurring awful people to record awful things like the young man who thought the Internet would appreciate a six-second video of him kicking a tiny cat like it were a football. As The Daily Dot pointed out, that really happened and the man in question is named Walter Easley, a guy who they say is threatening to kick more kittens. Easley deleted his Vine, but the Daily Dot's Fidel Martinez (again, WARNING) made a GIF of Easley's video:

Pretty gross. Internet hubs like Reddit and 4Chan have already tried to gather as much information they can about Easley, and there's a frantic search for his personal information. That said, Easley seems unfazed. "Lol now I got somthing to laugh at all day," he tweeted (his tweets are protected). And Martinez adds: 

He also posted another video on Vine in which he threatened to kick another cat, but that clip has since been taken down.

Easley isn't the first person to post something offensive on Vine, will not be the last, and is probably not even the worst thing we've seen on social media. Currently, the worst occurrence of social media meeting real-life terribleness happened last week when a man posted a photo of the corpse of his wife, who he allegedly murdered, on Facebook.

But Easley's video punctuates Vine's first summer as a Twitter app, and its first few months of massive popularity. With that, come the same questions that have plagued Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms: exactly how do you determine what's offensive and what isn't, what needs to be kept up or taken down, and how much free speech you allow on the app. Twitter, as we know, is a staunch defender of the First Amendment and it is currently struggling with the amount of violent threats its users like to send out.

While we can agree that unleashing on a tiny cat and then uploading it to the Internet so everyone can see is reprehensible, that becomes a little less clear when you deal with other vine trends like the "smack cam" where boys are filmed hitting girls in the face for funsies. That didn't spur as much initial outrage as Easley's video. But after those videos hit mainstream sites, a majority we originally wrote about were taken down. And then there's the equally puzzling #strokecam where it's apparently "fun" to dryhump unsuspecting women (again, Warning) : 

Some of these videos unlike the cat video, could involve completely willing participants (some of the women who are the target of the dry humping in the stroke cam don't seem like they are in on the joke) and that perhaps changes some of the meaning behind these things and perhaps turns them into an inside joke. But that isn't clear. What's to stop people from mimicking this "joke" and copycat vines proliferating? As episodes like Steubenville showed us this year, kids are capable of laughing off rape. And, as of now, there are few consequences dissuading people from continuing to disseminate this type of "joke."