Vybe Together, an app that allowed people to arrange and attend parties that might violate Covid-19 safety protocols, has been taken down from Apple’s App Store, and TikTok confirmed it removed the account for violating community guidelines about virus misinformation.
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.”
Neither Vybe Together nor Apple immediately responded to requests for comment, but TikTok confirmed it was removed for violating community guidelines designed to counter misinformation about Covid. It said that Vybe Together had 139 followers, 3 videos, and was not advertising on TikTok. The action against the app was first reported by The Verge.
Vybe Together had a now-removed FAQ page that suggested it was supporting small gatherings, not large ones, The Verge reported.
“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 is 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises against holding even smaller social gatherings that bring together people from different households due to the risk of Covid-19 spread.
“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 have also issued directives banning gatherings.
Vybe Together got some flak on social media Tuesday, before Apple and TikTok took action. Taylor Lorenz, a tech and internet writer for the New York Times, was among those 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.