Apple Removes App Promoting Parties During Pandemic

Apple has removed an American app from its app store after it was reported it promoted private parties during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The app in question is called ‘Vybe Together’, which calls itself a “private community to find, join and host parties.”

And it should be noted that Vybe Together has also had its TikTok account shut down, leaving the firm to take to Instagram to defend itself.

Covid parties?

“App Store took us down!!!,” it said on Instagram. “We will be back!! Follow to stay updated.”

The Instagram account suggests using the app to “Find your vybe. Local wine nights, beer pong games and dancing in an apartment near you.”

Vybe Together billed itself on TikTok and its website as a place to organise and attend underground parties. Indeed, the app’s slogan is “Get your rebel on. Get your party on.”

The news of the app’s removal was first reported by The Verge.

The way the app worked is that organisers would have to approve everyone who wanted to attend, and those who got approved, would then receive the address two hours before the event.

And it should be noted that most of these gatherings would be illegal under current Covid-19 rules both in the United States, the United Kingdom, and many other countries enforcing Coronavirus lockdowns.

Users of the app had to submit a profile for approval, including their Instagram handle, as well as photos of them “partying,” The Verge reported.

Once activated, users could apply to join parties and their attendance would be approved by organisers.

Unsafe behaviour

“Some terrible people built a whole app for finding and promoting Covid-unsafe large, indoor house parties and they’re using TikTok to market it to millions of people,” The New York Times reporter, Taylor Lorenz, tweeted.

Vybe Together’s now-removed FAQ page acknowledged the danger of the Covid-19 pandemic, but it said the app was designed to promote “small gatherings” rather than “big parties.”

In a statement to The Verge, a spokesperson also denied that the app was intended to promote unsafe behaviour.

“Vybe Together was [a minimum viable product] designed to help other people organise small get-togethers in parks or apartments during COVID,” the spokesperson reportedly said. “

We never hosted any large parties, and we made one over-the-top marketing video that left a wrong impression about our intentions, which has since been taken down. We do not condone large unsafe parties during a pandemic.”

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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