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@TaylorLorenz/Twitter

Vybe app promoting secret pandemic parties yanked from store, TikTok after backlash

Using the tagline, 'Get your rebel on. Get your party on,' organizers would have to approve everyone who wanted to attend.

Dec 30, 2020, 7:22 am*

Internet Culture

 

Alexandra Samuels

An iOS app promoting meetups during the coronavirus pandemic was removed from the Apple store and had its TikTok banned. 

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“Vybe Together” billed itself as a place for users to organize and attend underground parties. Using the tagline, “Get your rebel on. Get your party on,” organizers would have to approve everyone who wanted to attend. Invited guests would receive an address two hours before the event. 

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According to Business Insider, Vybe Together was co-founded by Baruch college graduate Alexander Dimcevski in January. Though it was added to the app store months ago, the app faced a fresh round of backlash for reportedly promoting New Year’s Eve celebrations in New York City—many of which may have violated local restrictions against public gatherings. 

On Tuesday, New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz shared one of the company’s TikTok videos to her Twitter account. 

“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,” she wrote.

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It’s unclear whether Vybe Together actually contributed to people hosting unsafe events, several outlets report. In a statement to the Verge, TikTok said the account linked to the platform had only 139 followers when it was removed. 

Vybe Together addressed the growing criticism on its Instagram Story.

“Blown out of proportion by the media,” a now-deleted post read. “We do not condone large gatherings.”

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*First Published: Dec 29, 2020, 8:42 pm