Seen your mates (especially your American ones) hashtagging #DeleteUber this weekend and wondered if the world is actually ending?
As people from the seven banned countries (Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan) were caught up in the chaos at border control (green card or not) and questioned for hours thanks to the so-called ‘Muslim Ban’ that came into effect immediately, thousands of people flocked to New York’s JFK in particular to make their voices heard.
What started in response to two Iraqi’s being unconstitutionally held at JFK ended in judges in New York City, Massachusetts, Virginia and Washington State have blocking parts of Trump's executive order.
Trump has since come out to reiterate his decision (duh):
Our country needs strong borders and extreme vetting, NOW. Look what is happening all over Europe and, indeed, the world - a horrible mess!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 29, 2017
And in the midst of all of it, Uber lost a significant chunk of their customer base.
While the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (whose membership is largely Muslim) showed their support for the protest by avoiding JFK for an hour:
Uber took a different approach:
Seems reasonable? Nope. The tweet revealed that Uber was functioning as normal and had previously been surge charging protestors to and from the airport.
While the company probably meant it in good faith, people turned on the company claiming that their vested interest in Trump’s administration (Uber’s CEO is on Trump’s economic advisory board along with Disney’s CEO and Elon Musk) meant they were operating to break up the protests.
People started deleting their Uber accounts (not just the app) to hit them where it counts and screenshotting their reasons why, posting with the hashtag #DeleteUber:
Uber responded by telling told Business Insider:
“We’re sorry for any confusion about our earlier tweet — it was not meant to break up any strike.
“We wanted people to know they could use Uber to get to and from JFK at normal prices, especially last night.”
Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick released the statement below on Facebook prior to the protests revealing his stance on the immigration ban, and concluding that “it’s the magic of living in America that people are free to disagree”:
Meanwhile, cab app competitor Lyft revealed that they would be donating $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union to help defend America’s constitution:
Unfortunately, Lyft isn’t available in the UK yet but if you want to take a stand against the company and its ethics, here are some alternative services:
The minicab comparison app functions on fixed prices and allows you to book cars in advance.
Black cabs, but fixed fares so traffic doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg.
The grandaddy of taxi apps have slashed off-peak and weekend fares by a third to make getting a chauffeur much cheaper.