December 31, 2020
Vybe Together —an app that enable people to arrange and attend parties that violated COVID-19 safety protocols—has been removed from Apple’s App Store, and its TikTok account has been shut down, CNN reports.
The app used its Instagram account, which remains online, to explain why it disappeared from iPhones and iPads.
The Instagram account suggests using the app to “Find your vybe. Local wine nights, beer pong games, and dancing in an apartment near you.” The app’s slogan is “Get your rebel on. Get your party on.”
Vybe Together, Apple, and TikTok stayed mum when asked for comment.. The action against the app was first reported by The Verge.
“We are aware that COVID is a major health problem to the country, our communities, our friends, and family,” said the FAQ page. “If we all could just be in isolation this could actually go away. Having large scale parties [are] very dangerous. That is why we don’t support that. But Vybe is a compromise, no big parties but small gatherings. We could be living, at least a little during these times with Vybe.”
“The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and COVID-19 spreading,” the CDC said in its guidelines. Many local governments also have issued directives banning gatherings, CNN said.
Vybe Together got some flak on social media on Tuesday, December 29—even before Apple and TikTok took action. Taylor Lorenz, a tech and internet writer for The New York Times, was among those who came out as critical of the Vybe Together app.
“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 ppl,” he tweeted. “They’re currently in the midst of promoting secret NYE ragers in nyc.”
Lorenz identified a co-founder of Vybe Together, and included the person’s LinkedIn profile page. That page was offline as of Wednesday morning.
Research contact: @CNN