February 03, 2017

Uber Became A Case Study Of How Boycotts Work

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is stepping down from President Trump’s economic advisory council after he became the subject of a viral boycott to #DeleteUber. In an email, Kalanick told Uber’s staff, “Joining the group was not meant to be an endorsement of the president or his agenda but unfortunately it has been misinterpreted to be exactly that.” 

The viral campaign to boycott the ride-sharing company began in the wake of Trump’s executive order banning refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. Not only had Kalanick accepted a position on Trump’s economic advisory group, but Uber refused to participate in the work stoppage that was started by the New York Taxi Workers Alliance during the airport rallies to protest the travel ban. Although Uber won’t tell us exactly how many users deleted their accounts, it was enough that the company implemented an automated process to handle the demand. The boycott proved to be rapidly effective, meaning it probably won’t be the last one we’ll see during Trump’s administration. 

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