#WeWashing: "when organizations refer to renting and selling services as 'sharing' and/or use terms like 'community' in misleading ways":
"At worst, [the #sharingeconomy label] is a way of obfuscating commercial transactions as 'sharing' as a way of evade the reach of regulation and oversight."
(via Frank Pasquale, https://twitter.com/FrankPasquale/status/944754728612913152)
@stefanieschulte the word “sharing” always seemed like an odd description for services like Uber and Airbnb.
@jerry @stefanieschulte not sure of USA culture (assuming author is Asian American) but in UK (even big cities) it is normal for taxicab driver (especially older ones) to share some part of their life story with you, its not some magic development via Uber.
I have had to travel in many taxis recently due to hospital appointments, our town supports at *least* two taxi firms with apps that provide same features as Uber but no nasty surprises like surge pricing. Drivers appear well treated too.
@vfrmedia @jerry It's a tricky business, due to low margins and risk of oversupply. This is a huge challenge for business owners and local regulators, I believe. However, Uber might not be particularly good at this - they just benefit from billions of dollars of subsidies from their investors, as Hubert Horan pointed out: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2933177
@stefanieschulte @jerry #Ipswich #UK seems to be a pioneering town in use of GPS apps for taxi despatch, I noticed a sudden drop off in VHF radio traffic from taxis on my scanner as they all switched to these systems. Uber doesn't operate much in Ipswich (there was one mention of it in a Council meeting) and it doesn't do localisation *that* well either..
(even if my Google settings are in Dutch I am in UK (which the website should try and detect) or the map could centre on NL/BE)
Certainly when I order the local taxis they are now there within 5 minutes of the expected time (even with heavy traffic); if SMS confirmations are delayed (app has realtime notifications) thats usually a network issue!
Inside the hospital are flyers for 3 other companies but not *one* mention of Uber
@jerry @stefanieschulte Both Uber and Airbnb do allow sharing: You can take passengers via Uber on a trip you've been wanting to do anyway, you can rent out your appartment via Airbnb only during times when you're not using it.
The problem is that these uses constitute only a minority of the business of these services nowadays, whereas the majority is purely commercial.
For me, BlaBlaCar is an example that is still mostly the way the sharing economy should work.
@jerry @stefanieschulte Sharing does not necessarily imply free: It can also mean sharing the cost (e.g. when sharing a flat). At BlaBlaCar, for example, the idea at least is that the driver calculates the cost of the ride (fuel plus wear and tear), splits it by the number of people on the ride and everyone pays their share.
It's only if the driver makes a profit when it stops being sharing from my perspective.
They will happily share what they have with us if we share some of our money with them.
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