The Uber Rape Scandal

Uber! I love Uber. I use it when I’m too inebriated to drive or when I’m in a new place. In my experience, Uber drivers are often great resources in a new city. They are also a great resource when you’re really drunk and have no way to get home safely.

Except for the bullshit “surge pricing”, Uber is great, Well surge pricing and rape. Two major Uber drawbacks,

Uber is not great at is taking action after assaults or rape happens.

Buzzfeed published a report showing rape and sexual assault complaints in Uber’s customer support system. Between December 2012 and August 2015, Uber received 5 rape claims and 170 claims of sexual assult. When Buzzfeed went into Uber’s Zendesk operated customer support system, the results for “rape” and “sexual assault” numbered in the thousands.

Uber has denied these allegations telling Buzzfeed the support system is misleading in its data because phrases like “raped my wallet” or any rider or driver name that contains R-A-P-E in that order counts in the results.

This doesn’t explain the queries that had “sexual assault” and “rape” in the subject lines of the claim.

Uber has recently published an update on the situation saying that wait a sec, actually, what they said wasn’t true about the queries in their support system. Aka, that just because “rape” appears in the claim in some form, it wouldn’t mean it would show up in a keyword search.

What remains to be seen if Uber is covering up the amount of rape/assault claims they’re dealing with or if they’re dealing with them at all.

An Uber representative spoke to Buzzfeed News said about the controversy: “we are deeply committed to providing a ride people can trust, and our technology allows us to focus on safety before, during, and after every trip. Even one incident of this nature is one too many.”


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