Photo credit: United Nations COVID-19 Response/Unsplash

Apple and TikTok Remove App Used to Plan Parties Amid Pandemic

By Emmanuel O., Guest Writer

Social media and tech companies are cracking down on accounts violating social isolation safety guidelines. One recent example is Apple removing Vybe Together from its app store, and TikTok following suit by banning the party-planning account from its platform.

The Vybe Together app enabled people to organize and attend parties and social gatherings despite social distancing rules. The people behind the app took to their Instagram account to explain their disappearance from Apple devices.

“App Store took us down!!! We will be back!! Follow to stay updated,” they said, shortly before the app was taken down from the media sharing platform. As of the time of writing, its Instagram account is still live, but only one vague post remains.

The app operated on the slogan, “Get your rebel on. Get your party on,” allowing users to “find your Vybe” and locate nearby wine nights, jam sessions and speakeasies.

The archived version of the website shows that users had to be approved by the organizers and, upon approval, would receive the address two hours before the party. The current pandemic restrictions have made such parties illegal, which may be why users need to submit their profiles for approval before they get an invitation.

According to NBC News, a spokesperson for TikTok said the account was in violation of community guidelines and had to be removed. When one of the co-founders, Alexander Dimcevski, was asked to comment, he insisted that the app had not thrown any large parties.

Vybe Together FAQ page did admit the dangers of the pandemic, noting that people should be in isolation so everything will “go away.” However, it mentioned that “Vybe is a compromise, no big parties but small gatherings. We could be living, at least a little during these times with Vybe.”

Vybe Together, as it turns out, is simply a rebrand of another creation of Dimcevski called Trendies. The service lasted only a short while, and helped people find Friday and Saturday parties. Regardless of the name change, the intention was clear—host fun parties, regardless of the recommendations of health professionals.

However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people need to avoid holding gatherings from different households to minimize the risk of coronavirus infection. With coronavirus cases in the U.S. now totaling more than 23 million, the chances of infection and spread of COVID-19 is higher as more people interact with each other.

Considering the nature of the indoor parties that Vybe Together was organizing, several people would be in enclosed places with poor ventilation. As of publication date, there is no official revamped date, but Vybe Together’s official site has a private subscription list for interested parties to meet again someday.

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