#BoycottUber: Why Uber Is Twitter’s Boycott of the Day

Uber’s CEO has defended the company’s decision to work with Donald Trump, but not all his fellow execs agree

Last Updated: January 27, 2017 @ 11:16 AM

The political climate has become so charged that it feels like there’s a new call for a boycott on Twitter every day. Their boycott hashtag du jour is #BoycottUber, which is calling on those who oppose the new POTUS to take their ridesharing dollars elsewhere after the company’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, defended the company’s decision to work with the Trump administration.

#BoycottUber popped up on Twitter Friday after Kalanick said that the relationship was necessary to fulfill Uber’s mission to improve global transportation.

“We’ll partner with anyone in the world as long they’re about making transportation in cities better, creating job opportunities, making it easier to get around, getting pollution out of the air and traffic off the streets,” Kalanick told employees in an email published by Business Insider.

“It’s about the leaders we have to work with around the world, not just here in the United States but everywhere,” he added. “And being optimistic — asking can we make urban mobility better?”

But not everyone in Uber’s upper echelons is in favor of Trump. The company’s CTO, Thuan Pham, labeled Trump in a leaked email with an adjective made popular by Hillary Clinton and adopted by Trump’s fans: “deplorable.”

“How can we sleep peaceful at night for the next 4 years knowing that the biggest societal problems rests on his lack of intellectual curiosity, judgment and temperament?” Pham wrote. “It is indeed terrifying! This is an emperor with no clothe [sic], and things will get very ugly before his reign is over.”

Still, Pham’s disgust for Trump hasn’t dissuaded some liberals from calling for a boycott against Uber. As Trump was inaugurated last week, protesters gathered in front of Uber’s headquarters in San Francisco, demanding Kalanick sever ties with Trump.

Now, a week later, this new hashtag is asking people who oppose Trump to use Uber’s main competitor, Lyft, whenever they need a ride. More general critics of Uber are also using the hashtag to voice their complaints about the company’s labor practices and low pay of their drivers. The hashtag has also drawn ridicule from Trump supporters, as well… though some are also planning to boycott Uber because of Pham’s email. Twitter boycotts can get messy, can’t they?

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