Skout Shuts Down Teen Community After Rape Allegations Surface

Skout, a location-based social networking app, is temporarily shutting down its “under 18” community, after three different rape allegations from member meet ups have surfaced. According to reports, adults posing as teens allegedly raped teenagers they met using the app.

The New York Times has the story: “…in each rape case, the men are accused of posing as teenagers in a Skout forum for 13- to 17-year-olds. In one case, a 15-year-old Ohio girl said she had been raped by a 37-year-old man. In the second, a 24-year-old man has been accused of raping a 12-year-old girl in Escondido, Calif. In the third, a 21-year-old man from Waukesha, Wis., is facing charges that he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old boy.”

Christian Wiklund, founder and CEO of Skout, laid out the company’s security procedures in a blog post, explaining that the company monitors its forums and bans all “inappropriate or suspicious behavior,” and only provides “general rather than specific location information.” Despite this process, Wiklund writes: “… it’s become clear to us that these measures aren’t enough.  In recent weeks, we’ve learned of several incidents involving a few bad actors trying to take advantage of some of our younger members…For now, we believe that there’s only one thing we can do: until we can design better protections, we are temporarily shutting down the under-18 community.” (Via PC World.)