Uber fires US driver for sharing negative article

Article on driver safety shared without comment; Uber responds by deactivating account

Tags: USAUber (www.uber.com/cities/dubai)
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Uber fires US driver for sharing negative article (Getty Images)
By  Stephen McBride Published  October 19, 2014

Freelance app-powered taxi service, Uber, has sacked a driver in the US for sharing an online article about Uber drivers being targeted by thieves across the US.

According to a report by The Guardian, Uber “deactivated” 33-year-old Christopher Ortiz of Albuquerque, New Mexico, after he shared the PandoDaily article, which was published on August 25.

Ortiz had worked for Uber in May and June this year and left to pursue the setup of his own business. When he tried to return to Uber service he found his account had been deactivated.

He asked Uber about the action and received this reply from operations manager, John Hamby:

“Sorry Christopher. Your account has been permanently deactivated due to hateful statements regarding Uber through Social Media. ‘Driving for Uber not much safer than driving a taxi’. Best of luck. UBER on!”

Ortiz claims the tweet he posted in August did not contain any comment from him and was merely a link to the article, which was titled “With another Uber driver robbed in LA, questions mount about safety of ride-sharing apps”.

“I was just sharing a story that people were reading,” Ortiz said, insisting he was “not trying to make a point”. “I was pretty surprised at the response. I had no idea that [getting deactivated] was even a possibility.”

After tweeting to Pando Daily editor Michael Carney on Thursday, news Ortiz’s ordeal went viral.

Uber finally responded, by issuing a statement to The Guardian: “This was an error by the local team and the driver’s account should have never been deactivated. We reactivated the account upon discovering the mistake and we apologise to this highly rated driver partner for the inconvenience.”

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