Thursday, February 2, 2017

Uber CEO on the wrong end of a #hashtag

The role of technology in politics, business, and other important issues in the world has continued to increase over the years, and shows no signs of slowing. The oh so powerful tool ‘social media’ draws millions of people together from all over the world with the click of a bottom, evaporating the separation of people across borders and regions. Many refer to this phenomenon as globalization. It is usually spoke about in a very positive manner, however, this isn’t always the case.
There has been a recent uproar, protests and a lot of resistance with the election of Donald Trump. Uber CEO found himself in a very sticky situation after being appointed to one of Donald Trump’s advisory council. According to an article from the New York Post, “Uber’s CEO bowed to pressure and quit President Trump’s advisory team”. After news broke that he had been a part of the panel, which many took to mean that the CEO was advocating for Donald Trump, Uber customers and employers went into a frenzy. They banded together on twitter with the hashtag “#DeleteUber” and also created online petitions encouraging him to step down. Millions of people came together for their cause, which must’ve caused the CEO enough grief that he chose to resign from the president’s panel.
                This isn’t the first time we’ve seen some sort change bought about from technology and social media. Most times the change is positive and without the technological platform people would remain in some unfortunate situations. Corrupt dictators have been overthrown due to the bonding of fed up civilians by the likes of Facebook, unlawful law enforcement have been brought to justice after videos have gone “viral”. Yes these are all great things and the world needs to see these atrocities for what they are. However, in some cases I feel technology actually perpetuates many problems. In this case particular with the CEO from Uber. Him being on a panel appointed by Trump does not mean that he supports Trump and agrees with his policies, in fact he is on record claiming the exact opposite. In the same breath that positive information is spread through these social media platforms a lot of negative is as well. Many are out there simply just looking for the next crisis and popular thing, tweeting #DeleteUber because they’ve seen someone else do it without knowing the entire story. I can attest that when I logged on to twitter and saw the #DeleteUber hashtag and begin to look a little deeper into the story, by viewing other tweets about the issue, I was inclined to join in. However, the problem is we don’t know how accurate this information is.
                In this particular scenario I feel as if the entire situation was overblown, and it really highlights the powers of social media and technology. Whether positive or negative!

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