__ It’s so early in the year, I’m going to go ahead and omit the following two points because it took me several minutes to dig them up (though I realize why they were here in 2013). First, I would definitely recommend reading Uber’s official response to Mr. Fowler’s allegations, which includes (at the very least) an explanation of the company’s “zero tolerance” policy against human trafficking and a plea for further reporting by the company’s victims. Secondly, given all we’ve seen so far in the year so far from Uber, I’d just like to take a moment to remind viewers and readers to consider the ethical implications of using a company’s technology.
For starters, according to the firm who put out that graphic, many female drivers are driven around the country by people they might have met online, or possibly at an escort agency. And not just any escort agency, but a group known as Black Girl Dangerous a group of men using their car app and social media to lure women into sex acts. And yes, some women report being led to their own deaths for being too attractive.
Now, I don’t know if any of these things are ever as grave as the death of Gabby Giffords. In fact, while the idea of sex trafficking seems like a horrible nightmare, that’s just one of many sex ring scandals to hit the U.S. in the past year. And according to New York Post reporter Jason Rezaian, there’s been an uptick in young girls and women in Iran who face a very real threat of being trafficked. And in September, Facebook announced that they would remove child abuse images from their platform.
Yet people are still coming forward with stories about an Uber driver who abused at least ten young women in New York City. There are cases of people using dating services and escorts to trick people into having sex. And if there’s one thing we have now, it’s a culture where some people are just happy to use technology to get in bed with someone. One thing we don’t have anymore is an industry of tech firms let alone tech firms as big as Uber. Of course, at the same time, there have been examples of people who choose to use technology to create great things, and sometimes people just want a quick fix to their everyday problems, the kind of things so many of us have been dealing with for decades.
In 2017 that seems both acceptable and necessary.