Being edgy and cool doesn’t make tech companies any less exploitative

D&S researcher Alex Rosenblat discusses the ambiguity of service standards in Uber and how that effects drivers.

This means that drivers wind up doing extra free labour – above and beyond what might even be necessary – to get higher ratings. This includes the kind of emotional and affective labour which has long been fostered in retail and service industries. Uber drivers provide bottled water and snacks and work hard on their repartee, for free: “[It’s] the kinds of things taxi drivers do for tips. But Uber has taken out tips. So they’re doing all this extra work for ratings,” Rosenblat said.