Today, Uber announced a new set of community guidelines to help riders and drivers better understand what is expected of them every time they get into a car. Or, to put it another way, to help riders and drivers better understand all the really bad behaviors — “throwing up in the back seat after too much alcohol” — that can get them kicked off the app.
For people in the United States, that list includes damaging a driver’s property or the property of another rider in the car, “inappropriate and abusive language or gestures,” and breaking the local law (like seat-belt or open-container laws). Unwanted contact between drivers and riders after a ride is over is also prohibited, firearms are prohibited, and, also, Uber would like to remind us all that there is to be no sex in their cars. “That’s no sexual conduct with drivers or fellow riders, no matter what.”
Given Uber’s troubling history with rape and sexual assault, it’s great the company is spelling this out in black and white, though it — unfortunately — seems unlikely this will realistically do much to quell the problem. Instead, this feels more directed at any slightly tipsy couple who has gotten into the backseat of an Uber on a Saturday night and pretended the driver did not exist en route to their destination in Hornytown, USA. Yes, I’m looking at you here.