What to Make of the #DeleteUber Situation

Over 200,000 people deleted their Uber accounts last week when the company turned off surge pricing for people traveling to JFK airport during the protest against President Donald Trump’s immigration ban. Users interpreted this as an act of support for the ban by Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and retracted their support of the popular app.

Kalanick also received criticism for being on Trumps’ advisory council but after backlash from both costumers and Uber employees, he has since left the council.

To further address the frustration coming from Uber employees, Kalanick sent an email to his employees informing them that he had quit the council and pledging to “fight for the rights of immigrants in our communities.”

It’s evident that Kalanick has acknowledged what he’s done wrong and is showing remorse. He’s made an effort to try to gain the support back that he lost but critics question how genuine his actions are. It’s plausible that these new efforts are simply a reaction from a business man that wanted to save the future of his company after making a controversial, moral mistake. In the capitalist society we live in today, it’s hard to imagine a successful CEO of a huge company doing anything that wasn’t going to make them the most money and former Uber users are not quick to giving Kalanick the benefit of the doubt.

He has since pledged $3 million dollars in aid to Uber drivers that have been affected by the immigration ban which is a step in the right direction but some former Uber drivers still aren’t considering it to be enough.

Boycotting companies and organizations that support the Trump administration has become increasingly common and for a company that prides itself on being inclusive and progressive, Kalanick’s actions were a surprise to many. Simply the failure of the CEO to denounce the ban while other similar services were actively showing their opposition to it put Uber at a disadvantage.

Lyft seized the opportunity to pledge one million dollars to the ACLU which created a direct transition for those opposing Uber to then switch their support to Lyft.

After analyzing everything that Uber has done in the past few weeks, whether or not you choose to continue to support Uber is a personal decision. There are companies that haven’t retracted their support for Trump after being boycotted which should be more of a target for protest than companies that make an effort to change. It’s normal to be suspicious of a CEO’s intentions when they modify their platforms but Kalanick’s apology and stance moving forward is worthy of being acknowledged.

If you do, however, still find yourself unable to support Uber, download Lyft or look into the transportation services that your campus offers.  

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