Uber, Lyft ban right-wing activist after anti-Islamic tweets

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Uber banned a woman Wednesday from the ride hailing app after she tweeted about her inability to find a car driven by a “non Muslim.”

Laura Loomer — a conservative political activist and former operative at right-wing Project Veritas – started commenting Wednesday morning that she was late to a New York Police Department press conference and was unable to find an Uber that was not driven by someone who did not look like they were Muslim. Her comments then escalated to asking for the creation of a, “non Islamic form of @uber or @lyft because I never want to support another Islamic immigrant driver.” Uber then banned her from the app, according to Business Insider. Uber has not put out an official statement regarding her ban.

On Wednesday evening, Lyft deactivated Loomer’s account, CNET reported.

Loomer’s tweets came the morning after 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov drove a truck onto a pedestrian and bike path in Lower Manhattan, killing eight people and injuring another 11. Saipov entered the United States legally in 2010 from Uzbekistan, according to Vox.

In August, Uber banned white supremacist James Allsup following violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the company said it would take further steps to ban supremacists. “There is simply no place for this type of bigotry, discrimination, and hate,” Uber Regional General Manager Meghan Verena Joyce wrote at the time.

Uber isn’t the only company to recently reprimand users for race-related actions. In July, Airbnb fined a host in California $5,000 and required her to take an Asian-American studies class after she abruptly canceled a reservation and responded with a racial comment. That state’s regulators earlier this year allowed Airbnb to submit hosts to racial discrimination tests.

Update at 9:40 p.m. ET to included Lyft ban

Comments

In before ridiculous defense of racists begins in the comments.

This isn’t breitbart.

Don’t think anyone’s gonna be defending this lady.

Not on this website, at least.

After all the shit she’s done for attention, and considering that she’s completely insane (look up the stalking allegations), this seems pretty intentional.

Well, Uber’s new CEO is Iranian-American, so that’ll feed right into her insane hallucinations.

That’s a classy move good on Uber, free speech should be allowed and pushed even if it’s sad to have to read but there’s a time and a place plus a limit.

Something horrific happened, if you want to be bigoted and avoid Muslims/brown people go for it just don’t promote your hate after something crappy happened.

Yes free speech is a right for all sides however since this is Uber/Lyft and neither are part of the US governement then free speech is entirely irrelevant since these are private corporations and can decide what kind of speech they want.

There is a thin line between free and hate speech and in this instance, I feel like she may have crossed it.

The point of -AMB-’s comment is that there is no expectation of "free speech" on a private platform.

"Free speech" is in regards to US Government, not private corporations.

Slight correction:

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) was responsible for the $5,000 fine and mandatory enrollment in an Asian-American studies course. Airbnb lacks the legal authority to impose such penalties, but it did ban the host in question.

How is that funny?

This is a very slippery slope. I don’t agree with anything she said however, it seems if you don’t agree with these company’s s opinions, you cannot be a customer of theirs. It will be interesting to see the world in 5-10 years.

Bigots are not a protected class. Ride-hailing services are not free speech platforms. Not slippery at all.

ever seen a sign that reads "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" ? these rules have already existed, she made racist comments about uber and lyft drivers, she also said she didn’t want to support them. It seems Uber and Lyft made it easier for her to do so.

It’s not a slippery slope.
If she’s going "You’re brown. I don’t want you. You’re a terrorist", well eff her.

She can take her business elsewhere.

You can’t discriminate people on the basis of protected classes like sex, race, origin etc. But, as psil said, bigots aren’t a protected class. And for a good reason.

There is no slippery slope. I don’t see an issue with banning a user who discriminates against their employees….err contractors.

I remember the local bodega growing up had a giant sign – "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, especially assholes." And sure as shyt, they had a few pictures of people banned from the store.

Not a slippery slope, just a company doing what businesses always do.

If she doesnt want a muslim driver because "dotn want support muslims" then Uber/Lyft can choose not to want a costumer with those ideas.

This is not a slippery slope. Don’t be racist and you can use Uber. How hard is that?

Wasn’t this terrorist also an Uber driver?

Sayfullo Saipov, an Uzbek national who moved to the US from Uzbekistan legally in 2010.

He was known as a restless workaholic who moved around the country starting new driving and trucking businesses.

Saipov registered his first company, Sayf Motors, in Symmes Township, Ohio, the year after he arrived in the US. Two years later, he registered another trucking company at another Ohio address near Cleveland. And then he started yet another trucking company when he moved to Tampa, Florida. Most recently he settled in Paterson, New Jersey, where he drove for Uber.

Seems like his trucking business’s weren’t working out (dunno why else he’d open so many in all these different states). He ran out of capital, and had to work for Uber.

And working for a company like Uber is what might have pushed him over the edge into extremism.

And working for a company like Uber is what might have pushed him over the edge into extremism.

You mean "having to work a low paying job because his other business ventures failed and getting desperate", right?
It’s not like Uber has anything to do with his radicalisation.

Could’ve easily been McDonalds.

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