Here’s an example of what happens when automated systems backfire!
Uber was forced to apologize to its social media followers after its support Twitter account tweeted the n-word.
The tweet was in response to a Twitter user who deliberately took the slur as their username and tweeted at the company’s support account in an attempt to get Uber to use it publicly.
We'd like to sincerely apologize for the offensive tweet that was sent earlier. We're investigating what happened to make sure it doesn't happen again.
— Uber Support (@Uber_Support) April 29, 2019
Uber’s spokespeople immediately went into damage control mode once they realized what had happened.
A spokesperson told Fast Company:
“We apologize for this offensive tweet and are disappointed our process to prevent something like this from happening was not effective here. Our support team is taking additional steps to help ensure this doesn’t happen again.”
Here’s the tweet in question:
Unfortunately, the circumstances that led to the tweet appear to have been overtaken by outrage.
Uber just went overboard with the N word are we saying fuck @Uber or what? Cuz I’m still waiting on when we gna start doing something about all this big companies throw racial slurs and shit. Twitter show your power period.???? pic.twitter.com/eQ1BceznJw
— 'Mide (@Skanmzy) April 29, 2019
just heard about uber saying the n word… pic.twitter.com/T7hDHeqpzq
— Bob the builder thoughts (@Bob_the_erector) April 29, 2019
Lmfao @Uber_Support really dropped the N word with a hard R. Someone getting fired
— Trent Adler (@UNiTE_Repeat) April 29, 2019
So @uber had the nerve to user the N word in of their tweets with the “er” please explain HOW that happens. Won’t be using that sorry ass service NO more
— jordan fieulleteau (@jordan_for6) April 29, 2019
EXCUSE ME???? UBER????? DID UBER SUPPORT REALLY SAY THE HARD N WORD ???? EXCUSE THE FUCK??
— jaquie @commissions! (@peachcreema) April 29, 2019
But some people have tried to correct the record.
The dude had the n word as his Twitter name then Uber’s automated response said it
— ✿ Nay K (@nay_kamari) April 29, 2019
I get that it's bad, but it's a robot that reads someones name, and returns a message with their name. The dude set his name to the n word and got that message. jesus,
— Cen (@GamingWarlord61) April 29, 2019
I think the guy changed his name to the N word then changed it back for Internet Clout
— Wear-a-Hoodie-Man (@bruhdaf) April 29, 2019
The incident comes at an unfortunate time for the company, which has been trying to convince money managers that its growth plans warrant a valuation of up to $91.5 billion in an initial public offering.