Three rape allegations force suspension of social app Skout

Skout, a location-based dating app, has temporarily shut down its under-18s service following a third rape allegation involving adults posing as teenagers on the site.

Victims from the age of 13 to 15 have reported attacks after meetings with other users of the US-based forum, and CEO Christian Wiklund has consequently announced a suspension of teenage members in a company blog post.

Skout originated as an adult-only service enabling members to ‘flirt', chat, and arrange meetings via its location tracking feature.

After a host of underage users managed to open accounts, the app decided to launch a special service for 13-17 year olds that enforced various security measures, including "proprietary technology that continuously monitors activity on the network to identify users whose behaviour appears unusual, inappropriate or suspicious."

But after the third rape incident relating to the site emerged, Wiklund admitted "it's become clear to us that these measures aren't enough," and announced a temporary ban on the teenage section of the app.

In the meantime, he said the company were "partnering with a leading risk management advisory firm to strengthen our current security measures. We hope to have the community back online soon."