This week’s viral and horrific story started with a cat owner, posting about how his Lyft driver took off with the cat still in the car.
The nature of the story, shared far and wide, caught a wave (in a way few things do these days on the-site-formerly-known-as-twitter). The cat owner isn’t famous, didn’t have a large following, but the lost cat crisis was a magnet. People around the world were concerned for the fate of this missing cat in Austin, TX.
It’s an edge case but also points to a number of issues. Firstly the limits of the tracing of vehicles in these systems. Many instinctive responses were “how can you not know where the driver went, or where he stopped?” Basically, how can this cat be lost?
(enough women have reported shady experiences with rideshare drivers to assume that in truth these companies don’t always know - or that they know and don’t care, neither of which is particularly comforting.)
The nature of the gig economy is that if anyone can do it, anyone will. Saints, sinners, masterminds and morons - you’ll find all of them on rideshare apps (although one could hardly argue that a taxi license is some kind of force-field against miscreants).
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