Over the last half-decade, public transit ridership declined nationwide. The number of vehicle miles traveled in cars is rising, and traffic congestion is getting worse in many U.S. cities. At the same time, the century-old taxi industry is struggling, with many taxi companies going bankrupt.
It didn’t take a startling expose about mismanaged sexual assault claims for women to know that Uber is not the most female-friendly service in this, our sharing economy. But when BuzzFeed News got a hold of some leaked screen shots from Uber’s internal customer support interface, seeing the words “rape” and “sexual assault” appear more than 10,000 times in the “Subject” field of the search query window was still a sickening experience. Uber executives said some untrue things about how their Zendesk database locates search terms – which they later admitted were literally “imperfect and fictitious” – and decried the figures as “highly misleading.”
Following a pervasive investigation by two cooperating firms, multiple sources are reporting that, in response to a rape claim made by an Uber rider against a driver, a high-level executive procured and shared the victim’s sexual history with others in the company.
Eric Alexander, Uber’s president of business for the Asia Pacific, obtained the accuser’s records through undisclosed means and, for a year, held and shared them with other Uber principals, including CEO Travis Kalanick, while the matter was investigated.