Despite more than 82 million cases and more than 1.75 million deaths from COVID-19, many people are bound and determined to carry on with normal life. For some, that includes attending Saturday night wearers, just like in the Before Times. Reports of yet another secret party broken up by law enforcement have become poignantly common.
Getting guests to these secret parties is at least a little more difficult now that Apple has pulled Vybe Together — an app with a tagline that invited users to “celebrate their party” — from the App Store. The Verge pointed out that the app largely flew under the radar until a tweet by New York Times Taylor Lorenz brought some unwanted, but much-needed checks to the app. One of Lorenz’s tweets highlighted Vybe Together’s TikTok account, which had posted videos of unmasked people partying indoors while promoting New Year’s Eve parties. According to Business Insider, TikTok has since deleted Vybe Together’s account for violating its Community Guidelines.
The Vybe Together FAQ at least acknowledged the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are aware that Covid is a major health problem for the country, our communities, our friends and family. If we could all be in isolation, this could really go away.” So far, so good.
“Holding large-scale parties is very dangerous,” the FAQ continued. “That’s why we don’t support that. But Vybe is a compromise, not big parties but small meetings.”
The problem is that in places like New York, where the app advertised, the number of people from different households who can gather safely inside and unmasked is zero. The behaviors Vybe Together encourages are inherently dangerous, both for the participants and those with whom they live.
A spokesperson explained that the app was actually intended for small get-togethers. “Vybe Together was” [a minimum viable product] designed to help other people organize small gatherings in parks or apartments during COVID,” the spokesperson told The Verge. our intentions, which have since been broken off. We will not tolerate large unsafe parties during a pandemic.”
They only approve of small, unsafe parties.