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Ubergate crashes into Bad PR this week

An Uber’s senior executive this week drove the company into acres of bad press.

Uber, which has just launched UberGo- a low cost cab service for India – has not been able to explain away its comments earlier this week. According to Buzz Feed News, Emil Michael. a senior vice-president at  Uber, outlined a plan to hire researchers to dig dirt on journalists that write against the company. These remarks were made at a Manhattan dinner, with what has been described as an “influential crowd” attending including Arianna Huffington and actor Ed Norton.

Michael has later said that he believed the remarks were off the record. This incident is another one demonstrating  increasingly negative coverage of Uber and their practices. In India, they have been targeted by rival firms for invoicing practices that did not follow local policy and law and globally have attracted criticism around its driver poaching and allegations of tracking rider information.

As start ups enter the grown up world, handfuls of cash (Uber is valued at a billion plus) are no protection against the lash of poor communication.

As Vipul Bondal puts it (who also shared this story for Bad PR), Uber should have realised that in today’s 24x7 world there is no such thing as privacy.

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