October 21, 2019

Bearcats Strike for Climate -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

A Personal Account On Vaping -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Girls Water Polo Resumes Winning Ways -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Running into the 2019 season -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

How Media Affects The Mind -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Matilda Provides Hope -

Monday, October 14, 2019

Mock Trial: Murder Trials, New Captains, and Autonomous Vehicle Accidents -

Monday, October 14, 2019

SMHS Starts the Year Cellphone Free -

Monday, October 14, 2019

SMHS’ Boomwhacker Club -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Questioning the Ethics of Unconventional Childbearing -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Don’t Blame Video Games -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Why Disney Won’t Stop Remaking Movies -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

The Versatility of Virtual Reality -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Pondering Yondr -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Mr. Shea: The Meme King -

Thursday, October 3, 2019

#AHistoryofBadBoycotts -

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Increased Regulation is Necessary for Homeschooling -

Thursday, August 29, 2019

An amazing year for the wrestling team -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

My Experience at the Women’s March -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

El Regreso Del Racismo -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Uber Drives Itself Into a Corner

Uber is widely used and loved, and it is growing more popular day by day. But what exactly goes on behind the scenes? Is the company itself as welcoming and efficient as its programming? As confirmed by multiple former employees and inside sources, it most definitely is not.

The most visible threat to the general public is probably the many dangerous incidents involving or caused by an Uber driver. In the past six months, there have been six deaths, 24 violent assaults, 35 sexual assaults and 37 drunk drivers reported worldwide. These numbers, however, mean nearly nothing when compared to Uber’s total monthly rides, which is about 40 million. So the risk of something happening to you when you take an Uber doesn’t amount to even a fraction of a chance.

The real problems with Uber seem to occur within the company itself. “There was a game-of-thrones political war raging within the ranks of upper management,” said Susan J. Fowler in a blog post published in February earlier this year. In the post, she outlined her past experience working as a site reliability engineer at Uber. “It seemed like every manager was fighting their peers and attempting to undermine their direct supervisor so that they could have their direct supervisor’s job,” she added. She then mentioned how one of the directors bragged about withholding critical information from an executive just so he could get on the good side of another executive.

Fowler also described the sexual harassment that she faced at Uber. Her first manager tried to get her to have sex with him, and she took screenshots of the chat messages and reported him to HR. They said that it was his first offense and that he “was a high performer,” so they just let it go. Fowler eventually met other women in the company who had also been at the receiving end of the same manager’s inappropriate behavior. After reporting him multiple times, HR still said that all the incidents were “his first offense.” He was eventually fired for another reason that was unrelated to his acts of harassment.

Regarding the matters outlined in Fowler’s blog post, Travis Kalanick, Uber’s co-founder and CEO, wrote on Twitter, “What’s described here is abhorrent & against everything we believe in. Anyone who behaves this way or thinks this is OK will be fired.”

The borderline corruption suggested by Fowler’s words is further proven by Jeff Jones’ statement when he resigned as Uber’s president in March 2017. He said that he joined Uber because of “the challenge to build global capabilities that would help the company mature and thrive long-term,” according to Recode, a technology news site. “It is now clear, however, that the beliefs and approach to leadership that have guided my career are inconsistent with what I saw and experienced at Uber.” His words, along with other statements that have surfaced, heavily implies that the perceived ethics in Uber’s company are somewhat fraudulent.

A failed sting operation carried out by Portland police officers back in 2014 sheds some light on Uber’s underhanded tactics; this was revealed by a New York Times article published in March earlier this year. A tool that Uber created, called Greyball, which was made to deceive authorities, was recorded in action as an inspector tried and failed to hail an Uber car. Twice. Greyball, as described by Uber in a statement, “denies ride requests to users who are…opponents who collude with officials on secret ‘stings’ meant to entrap drivers.” It was approved by Uber’s legal team, and started to be used as early as 2014.

“In all, there are at least a dozen or so signifiers that Uber employees could use to assess whether users were regular new riders or probably city officials,” said the New York Times article. One method they use is looking at a user’s private credit card information, then finding out whether the card is directly connected to an organization like a police credit union. Another method is watching people who are often opening the app near a city’s government offices, then tagging them as users who might be associated with the police or other agencies. “When someone tagged this way called a car, Uber could scramble a set of ghost cars in a fake version of the app for that person to see, or show that no cars were available.”

Greyball was actively used in Portland in 2014 after the city deemed Uber illegal. The officials and the ride-sharing service have come to an agreement since then, but Uber has also entered many other new markets without receiving approval from the city beforehand. The company claims that Greyball was meant to deny rides to “users who are violating our terms of service,” but that just seems like an excuse to evade law enforcement and continue illegally operating in markets from which they have been banned.

Recently, Uber has truly been struggling. With many incidents like these arising, along with Uber’s willingness to operate during a New York taxi strike protesting the president’s refugee ban, outrage has broken among the public. “In January, more than 200,000 people uninstalled their accounts, and #DeleteUber trended on Twitter,” said a Bloomberg article. And, after one of Uber’s self-driving cars being tested in Arizona was involved in an accident, it doesn’t look like Uber will recover soon.

Jeff Jones, Raffi Krikorian, Gary Marcus, Ed Baker and Amit Singhal, all high-ranking or well-known officers in Uber, have left the company in the month of March. Brian McClendon, a vice president, also plans to leave at the end of March.

Is this the beginning of Uber’s downfall? Or just a small bump in the road for the multi-million dollar ride-sharing business? Not much evidence suggests the latter at this point. It seems that only time will tell.

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrEmail this to someone