- Uber will soon bar passengers with low ratings, the company announced this week.
- The company did not say what minimum riders would need to meet or what infractions might ding them the most.
- Twitter users compared the new plan to “Black Mirror” and China’s social-credit system.
- Want to increase your rating? Here’s how, according to more than two dozen drivers.
Uber announced this week that it would soon bar passengers whose ratings fall to levels that the company deems unacceptable.
It’s similar to the system drivers have long known affects their ability to work and part of making respect a “two way street,” the company said in a blog post.
But not everyone is on board with the idea.
Shortly after the plan was announced, Twitter lit up with criticism and praise of the forthcoming rules, although the company has not provided any details on things like minimum ratings. The overwhelming response was a comparison to a 2016 episode of the Netflix show “Black Mirror,” which depicts a world where all citizens can rate each other. Those scores then have an influence on everything from housing to weddings.
1. Good for Uber
2. Seems like we're not too far from that Black Mirror society where our rankings define what services we can use and where we can live https://t.co/4gqk8AGlZK
— Alex Kantrowitz (@Kantrowitz) May 29, 2019
— rori (@rooaaarrrr) May 30, 2019
Other people said the move by Uber, which is now a nearly ubiquitous service in most major US cities, was akin to China’s social-credit system, which is designed to reward and penalise people based on their behaviour.
We'll have a defacto equivalent to that Chinese social rating system in ten years. https://t.co/MY9FKHTOyK
— Caleb 'Risky T-shirt' Garrett (@bad_garrett) May 30, 2019
today in "yes the U.S. has a social credit system and it's in some ways more sophisticated and operational than China's aspirational centralized system" https://t.co/74xXfHVnCi
— Ben Walsh (@BenDWalsh) May 29, 2019
Worries about how ratings might differ for groups of people based on things such as age, race, and gender were also brought up.
would love to see some data on how ratings vary by race, gender (and more) if we're going down this roadhttps://t.co/URguSTMNWi
— Zachary Tracer (@ZTracer) May 29, 2019
But, of course, the plan did find some fans.
#Uber is correct to (finally) go after bad riders – if you have a low rating, you should also be charged a premium extra fee that goes 100% to the driver for taking a risk on you.
Always tip drivers (100% goes to drivers)https://t.co/k3DJWq2qNT
— Evan Parker (@evanparkersf) May 29, 2019
Also add a tip rating (rider tips X% of time) and default tipshttps://t.co/eNw4IijwKh
— Brian Davis (@svsfo) May 29, 2019
The Independent Drivers Guild, which represents thousands of app-based drivers in New York, praised the move by Uber as a way to protect drivers, especially in the wake of a violent attack caught on video this week.
“Holding riders accountable for their behaviour on the Uber platform is an important safety measure to protect drivers as well as fellow riders who may book shared rides,” the group said in a statement. “While most riders are respectful, banning riders who threaten driver safety, spew racist rants, and disrespect or damage our vehicles is the right thing to do. For too long there has been one-sided accountability and this is a positive step toward correcting that.”
What do you think of the plan? Get in touch with this reporter at [email protected]