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Inside the secret Facebook of Uber drivers posting passenger photos without consent

Inside the secret Facebook of Uber drivers posting passenger photos without consent

“17 year old drunk girl puked in my car, ugggggggg,” an Uber driver shared with fellow drivers in a private Facebook group. It was one of her first days driving for the platform, and she had picked up an underage girl who was extremely drunk. She wanted to vent her frustrations. She also thought to capture the moment. Along with her comment was a photo of the teen on her cellphone covered in vomit.

“Wayment! That’s puke on her? At first I thought it was the pattern of her outfit!” one driver responded.

“Sitting there looking stupid. You wanna b an adult, well missy here’s your chance,” another one said.

While some wanted the photo of the minor taken down, most thought it was funny and relatable. Some advised the driver on how to get Uber to clean up the car. As one poster quipped, “Welcome to rideshare.”

Of course, the 17-year old passenger didn’t know her vomit-covered image was taken by the driver, nor did she know it would be seen by the 10,052 (and growing) members of the “Atlanta Uber/Lyft Drivers Unite” Facebook group. She just thought she was getting a ride home.

Similar stories of unsuspecting customers being secretly roasted and shamed litter the Drivers Unite group. In one thread, a driver joked about “this big giant heffa” he saw while picking up a passenger at a shopping center. He quickly realized that the woman in question might be his passenger, so he cancelled the ride to prevent the woman from entering his car. He later pulled up a pixelated picture of the woman and posted it on the group, to which members proceeded to joke about her weight and praise his “pull off game.”

“Lol AND the cancellation fee. You fucked her good,” one member said. To which another driver replied, “He said his Pull Off game was good not his Pull Out good… She fucked herself !!!”

In yet another instance, a driver took a picture of his blacked-out passenger and praised him for tipping $50 during a surging trip. Drivers laughed at the story, calling it “the 2nd funniest post I’ve read on here yet!” The group’s administrators did not remove the photo.

Private Facebook groups make it easy for drivers—or any service worker or employee or military service member—to violate strangers’ privacy. In one case, the Atlanta group’s admins had to step in and tell users to stop posting identifying passenger info, such as “the address where you picked up the passenger and dropped them off.” Some users praised the measure, but others joked about it. A few drivers legitimately did not understand why it was such an issue to share personal information on the site.

“Maybe I’m stupid but what do bad people do with random house addresses without knowing whose house it is?” one user asked. Nearly a half dozen members agreed.

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