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When transparency lead to racial or sexual discrimination

When transparency lead to racial or sexual discrimination


These two notions are generally not supposed to be mutually excluding. They, however, do when it comes to ridesharing. The researchers from American University and Indiana University have studied the effects of color and being/supporting LGBTQ on drivers cancelation frequency. With 3200 sample orders made via major ridesharing services including Uber and Lyft, the study covered African American and White riders (male and female). The results were pretty much shocking.

While no gender discrimination was observed, color and LGBTQ created substantial bias in drivers behavior. In particular, African American riders were rejected three times more often compared to their peers. Moreover, regardless of the color the riders had two-times higher chances for trip cancellation if identified as LGBTQ/LGBTQ supporters. That is definitely unacceptable. The reasons of such behavior may vary but the most obvious one is the absence of penalty for drivers for discrimination. Now, both drivers and riders wanna be on the safe side and get to know each other prior to the ride. The transparency turns out to be harmful though.

One more reason of discrimination could be that some of the drivers are foreign nationals from the countries with low level of tolerance towards people of color and LGBTQ community. At this point it would not that efficient to simply charge drivers for biased decisions as their personality remains the same. Rather than that major ridesharing providers may educate drivers and encourage their tolerance. At the end of the day, these efforts will definitely be paid off as with more rides completed the profits of drivers and providers will increase and happy riders will reach their destinations faster. The action is needed to restore equality and contribute to the public good.