The Billfold
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The Billfold

#DeleteUber Worked

Turns out boycotts can actually effect change. (Or “affect change,” because the boycott wasn’t the only factor in this situation.)

Photo credit: Murray Barnes, CC BY 2.0.

I guess enough of us deleted Uber that CEO Travis Kalanick decided to delete Trump:

Uber Technologies Inc Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick quit President Donald Trump’s business advisory group on Thursday amid mounting pressure from activists and employees who oppose the administration’s immigration policies.

Critics included Uber drivers, many of whom are immigrants themselves.

Reuters cites an email from Kalanick that indicates he did not believe that joining President Trump’s business advisory group necessarily meant personally supporting Trump’s policies—which totally makes sense, everyone needs advisers who don’t always agree with them—but it should be noted that the whole #deleteUber hashtag wasn’t just because Kalanick was on the business advisory group.

It was also because Uber decided to drop its surge pricing at JFK at the same time that NYC taxi companies were going on strike to protest President Trump’s “Muslim Ban” executive order that both suspended refugee admission and prevented people from seven countries from entering the United States.

I’ve included both of these tweets to show that, you know, it’s complicated. The whole thing’s complicated. Even the part where Lyft made a $1 million (over four years) donation to the ACLU is complicated, because some people were reporting on Twitter that Lyft was also picking up passengers at JFK that evening—although who knows what is true or not when it’s on Twitter and I can’t get a confirmation either way—and because, as WAMU reminded us:

[Jay Williams] downloaded the app for ride-hailing rival Lyft, even though two of its major investors, Peter Thiel and Carl Icahn, are supporters of Donald Trump.

So yeah. A bunch of us deleted Uber, and now Travis Kalanick has quit President Trump’s business advisory group.

If you deleted Uber last weekend, are you going to open a new account?

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