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Uber and Lyft Drivers Striking, Off to Rocky Start in NYC

Some drivers want to fight back against Uber and Lyft. Others are content to keep working.

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Ride sharing drivers for Uber and Lyft are striking in several cities across the country, but are off to a rough start in New York City.

“Drivers in 10 cities across the country are taking action on Wednesday to draw attention to what they say are decreasing wages for drivers and a distressing lack of job security — and some are calling on passengers to temporarily boycott the ride-hailing services, too,” according to NPR.

But according to The New York Post, the strike did not go as planned in The Big Apple, the one of nation’s largest markets for ride sharing.

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“A driver strike that was planned for Wednesday-morning rush hour against ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft appeared to be a flop in New York City, as cars appeared plentiful and surge pricing was scarce,” the paper said.

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The Post spoke with at least one Uber driver who did not take part in the strike, which drivers strategically planned for the day of Uber’s Initial Public Offering (IPO).

“If it made a difference, I would’ve done it,” the driver reportedly said. “But I don’t know what would change for us, IPO or no IPO.”

Meanwhile, NPR spoke with Rideshare Drivers United, the group in Los Angeles that headed up the strike.

“We ask that the public support drivers in their struggle for fair wages and our Drivers bill of rights,” spokesman Brian Dolber told NPR. “We are calling for community standards that will ensure that Uber and Lyft do not create needless traffic and pollution. By boycotting Uber/Lyft for 24 hours, passengers can show that they stand with RDU in our fight for a rideshare industry that truly serves Angelenos.”


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Twitter Posts Job Posting for Developing Paid Subscription Service; Will Platform Become Pay-to-Use?

Will it lead to the downfall of the platform?

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Shares for Twitter’s stock surged more than 8% on Wednesday as the company posted an online job listing for a developer who would work on a new system designed as a pay-to-use platform.

The job listing advertises the opening for a project team termed “Gryphon.” The company describes the team as creating a “subscription platform” that “can be reused by other teams in the future.”

In a statement to CNN on the job listing, Twitter underplayed the announcement, stating that it was only a job listing, not a product announcement.

We’re conducting this survey to assess the interest in a new, more enhanced version of Tweetdeck. We regularly conduct user research to gather feedback about people’s Twitter experience and to better inform our product investment decisions, and we’re exploring several ways to make Tweetdeck even more valuable for professionals.

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CEO Jack Dorsey has resisted shareholder demands to reorganize Twitter to prioritize profitability, most recently fending off a buyout attempt staged by oligarch Paul Singer challenging his leadership of the company. Dorsey kept his position of power over the company after reaching an agreement with profit-hungry shareholders, and the new development of paid subscription software could signal he intends to further satisfy them.

The company’s major investors will likely be pleased by any sign the company intends to convert its service into a pay-to-use model, evolving away from the tradition business model of micro-targeted ads towards its user base. However, a change to a subscription model could prove to be a threat to Twitter’s appeal, especially when newer free speech platforms are gunning for the platform’s user base and the company caves to the demands of censorious liberal journalists in suspending a variety of public figures deemed inconvenient to the neoliberal societal model.

Ultimately, the greed and thirst for power of the privileged elites of Silicon Valley could possibly bring about an end to their era of domination over online political speech, heralding a renaissance of the internet.

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