A popular smartphone application called Skout that allows users to plan meetings and "flirt," on Tuesday announced it was suspending access to users who have identified as under the age of 18, after three men separately used the service to meet and sexually assault minors, the New York Times reported. As Skout's founder Christian Wiklund stated in a company blog post:
We are extremely sorry about this, but we don’t believe we have any other choice. We will not compromise the safety of our community, and right now, our concerns are too significant to simply stand by and do nothing. We are working around the clock to build better safeguards, including mechanisms for age verification, and we’re partnering with a leading risk management advisory firm to strengthen our current security measures. We hope to have the community back online soon.
The comments on Wiklund's blog post overwhelmingly express disappointment that the under-18 portion of the service has been suspended.