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Posted: Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 10:47 AM HST

Native Hawaiians protest name of STD 'Hula' app

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) A new dating app designed to provide proof someone is free from sexually transmitted diseases is drawing criticism from Native Hawaiians.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports an online petition is asking for the "Hula" app to change its name. Critics say the app that helps people "get lei'd" is culturally insensitive.

CEO Ramin Bastani didn't return the newspaper's calls for comment. But Hula's Facebook page includes a posting apologizing for offending the Hawaiian community.

The three college students who started the petition say they're not opposed to the app's functions but don't want to see a beloved cultural art form exploited.

As of Wednesday, nearly 700 people signed the petition.

The petition notes that the arrival of Europeans exposed Native Hawaiians to diseases such as gonorrhea and syphilis.

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