Talk:Uber (company)

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Proposal for Company History[edit]

Hey again, everyone. I've been working on a proposal for the article's History section to make the development of the company clearer, and the text easier to follow. Paying close attention to how sections in similar articles are organized and written, the proposal I'd like to share offers a chronological sequence of events, rather than grouping information on Uber's history into themed subsections based on topic. The current History also uses a lot of direct quotations from sources, so this proposal aims to eliminate as many of those as possible. Would be great to have editors read through and see if this would be a good update for the existing History.

To make it easier for editors here to read and offer feedback or make edits to the draft I'm suggesting, I've placed it in my user space: User:Craig at Uber/Uber History Draft

Here's a quick run-down of the specific changes in the proposed draft vs. the current:

  1. Re-organized the section into three clear chronological subsections
  2. Expanded information on the foundation of the company and brought all the early funding details together with the information on the company's early days, including adding more detail on initial funding
  3. Removed details on and hiring of consultants and our board of directors. These details should be included in the article, but perhaps would be best within a Corporate information type of section?
  4. Cleaned up the International growth subsection, summarizing instead of listed each individual city and adding a summary of the types of pushback Uber has received internationally
  5. Reduced the details on uberPOOL to a concise summary, paring down the undue weighted discussion of uberPOP and uberPOOL in the current version
  6. Removed a few items that seem unnecessarily detailed, including Ice Prince Zamani as Rider Zero in Nigeria (every city has a rider zero, and mentioning all of them would be overkill)

Just in case anyone missed my earlier posts here, I'm Craig and I work at Uber Technologies. As part of my role, I'm acting as Uber's representative on Wikipedia and coming to the Talk page with points of discussion and suggestions, as needed.

As this is the first longer draft I've proposed here, I'd appreciate any feedback that editors have. My aim with this is to make the article a better experience for readers and easier to maintain for editors, so if there are any edits that would further improve that, let me know. Craig at Uber (talk) 18:13, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Based on a suggestion from User:AlbinoFerret, I'm opening up an RfC here to get more eyes on my proposed update for the company history. What do editors think of the draft? Can this be used to update the History section? Craig at Uber (talk) 20:13, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
Please withdraw this RfC. It is not an appropriate use of RfC - there has been no discussion of this proposed edit here on Talk that I can see and there is no clear dispute that needs to draw wider community input to resolve. Please do not abuse the dispute resolution process. You should simply have posted your draft with an Template:Request edit. Would you please do that? thanks. Jytdog (talk) 20:22, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
It's fine to post here, no abuse, but I'm not sure an RfC is the best way to get it done. The wheels of Wikipedia turn slowly, and I know I've been meaning to pay some attention to this. I'll see if I can make some time in the next few days. - Wikidemon (talk) 20:48, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
A "dispute" is not required to submit an RFC, but the request for comment is obviously not neutral and I don't expect you'll get any meaningful input from such a sweeping RFC, as oppose to focusing on one thing at-a-time. Regarding being a "representative" of Uber, we do not allow Group Accounts. What I mean by that is you are only allowed to contribute to Wikipedia as an individual, and not as a representative of a group of people that control your edits off-wiki.
Regarding the draft, I can take a look at it if you're comfortable with that. CorporateM (Talk) 01:57, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
@CorporateM: regarding the accounts, what Craig is doing is allowed. See bullet point 4 of WP:ISU in the username policy: "usernames...such as "Mark at WidgetsUSA" are acceptable". A person can be a representative of a group, but an account can't imply it represents multiple people. Stickee (talk) 02:07, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Hmm.... I wasn't complaining about the name of the account itself, but the "imply it represents a group of people". CorporateM (Talk) 02:24, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Hi Jytdog, Wikidemon and CorporateM, as you've seen, I've been trying to get editors to take a look at this draft by leaving a request here. The reason I opened this RfC was that I was encouraged by another editor since I was struggling to get any comments at all. From what I read at Wikipedia:Requests for comment, it didn't sound like this process should only be used for disputes and I've used an RfC here before; that time editors' feedback was very positive. Obviously, I don't want to abuse any processes on Wikipedia, so I'm glad to see Wikidemon and CorporateM's comments here that it is not abuse—phew!—on the other hand, I'd be ok with closing the RfC if you think it's not appropriate in this case. It seems that I'm receiving contradictory advice here, so I'd appreciate some clarity.
Re: my statement above describing myself as representing Uber, this is simply to say that I'm the official individual designated by Uber to offer suggestions / make request etc. here. So, no, not a group account. Finally, I'm ok with you looking at the draft, CorporateM, so long as you feel comfortable with it and don't find there to be any conflict of interest (I think you previously mentioned preferring not to get involved, which is why I mention it). Craig at Uber (talk) 15:17, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The user name is completely fine under our username policy and several editors have been using similar names for a long time - the name signifies a single person and clearly discloses the COI; I actually think this is a great practice for paid editors and wish more of them would do it, since it makes COI disclosure very very clear - it is optimum transparency. I am generally very willing to work with paid editors who comply with the spirit and letter of Wikipedia's policies and guidelines; we sometimes get great content suggestions from them, and the more they work with the community the more use-able those suggestions become (which is better for everybody - less time wasted on back-and-forth and more good content in WP). However, I will not respond to this RfC which I see as an abuse of the RfC tool - per the page on that, "RfC is one of several processes available within Wikipedia's dispute resolution system." There is no dispute here and no policy issue that needs to gather wide consensus so it can be adopted- there is just (to be blunt) a paid editor wanting a faster response to the content they want reviewed. Waiting for responses from volunteers here, is part of the "deal", and abusing a DR tool to get a faster response is not OK. I understand that someone advised you to do it Craig, but people give poor advice all the time. I would have responded to an "edit request" (I have a line of them, this would be about 5th in line. ) Jytdog (talk) 15:30, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

General Comments[edit]

I began reviewing and implementing the proposed content, but I'm not sure if the article even ended up in a substantially better place. Despite the description of the changes being purely copyediting-oriented, in actuality the proposed draft removed a lot of countries from being mentioned at all, as well as some legal disputes with some of those countries. However, many of these legal disputes feel out of place, since there is a dedicated section for lawsuits, which smacks of inappropriate in itself. Many of the Criticisms and Controversies are listing off individual, trivial incidences of car accidents, etc. I'm not quite sure what is the best way to handle it at this moment. In a similar case on another page we ended up removing all the individual, trivial disputes, but I would have preferred another sub-article, to avoid removing sourced material. It's a bit of a mess right now, but I'll try to spend a bit more time hammering away at it. CorporateM (Talk) 19:20, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

What I might suggest is approaching this one sub-section at a time using strikeouts and bold to indicate proposed additions and trims. Also, keep in mind that every time you propose content, it is a sign of impropriety if negative information is omitted under the hope that we won't notice. Generall speaking funding, acquisitions, CEO changes, and some lawsuits fall under the Corporate History section. Product updates and product history goes into the corresponding product history and most consumer companies have a Marketing or Advertising section to describe how they market themselves. CorporateM (Talk) 19:32, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks CorporateM for diving in and looking at my draft! I was trying to follow along as you made your edits, but there were a lot so bear with me if I've missed anything. Overall, it looks like you were able to use the majority of my draft, which is great! I saw that you put some of the information into the Uber app software and services section, rather than in History, which isn't what I was expecting but I think I see from your comments what you have in mind there. Regarding the inclusion of individual countries and legal disputes, as I flagged in my initial request, I aimed to summarize this, keeping in mind that the legal issues are covered within the Regulatory opposition section and corresponding separate article so don't need to be included in detail in the History.
Following the updates, though, I'm concerned about the readability of the current article. Key things that would really help make this article much clearer for the average reader:
  • Putting the History into chronological order. Right now it bounces around and creates a confusing timeline of what happened when. Some details are repeated, but with different wording. I'm finding it confusing, and I already know the company's history really well.
  • Keeping a short mention and description of Uber's main services within History, at their introduction in the chronology. That way, when they're mentioned later on as part of the narrative around the company's expansion, readers know what they are. Either that, or entirely move the specifics about the expansion of services into the Uber app software and services section.
  • Efficiently organizing the Uber app software and services section. It's a problem that various services are mentioned in multiple subsections, and the Development history comes after discussion of services that were launched later, Uber Pop and Uber POOL. Bringing together all discussion of the expansion of Uber's services into one single subsection so that there's no repetition or confusion of chronology would make a lot of sense.
Honestly, I'm not sure how to show these changes with strikeouts and bold without it looking like a confusing mess of formatting. If it works for you and others here, I'm going to put the current version into my userspace on a new sub page, then add in an updated version. That way, there'll be a clear diff showing what I'm suggesting to change. I'd also recommend we have Wikidemon take a look, since they've been really involved in this article to date and have a good grasp on the information covered. 4.31.16.86 (talk) 22:51, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
The sections should be in roughly chronological order, but we don't need every sentence individually to be in strict chronology. For example, if we have a paragraph about funding, it may overlap chronologically with other sections/paragraphs, but it should be in roughly the right area. We also definitely don't need a summary of products and services in the History section. That's done in the Lead and in the products section.
Taking it from the top, do you have better sources for the two identified with "better source needed" tags? And is there anything you feel is incorrect/missing from this sub-section? CorporateM (Talk) 23:23, 21 July 2015 (UTC)


Pardon the delay here, it's been taking me some time to get my thoughts and responses put together. Meantime, yes, let's work on addressing some of the simpler things. These two references can be used to update the first paragraph and remove the "better source needed" tags:
For the first one: <ref name=Sinan11>{{cite news |title=On heels of new funding and global expansion, car service Uber launches in D.C. today |author=Michael Sinan |url=http://venturebeat.com/2011/12/15/uber/ |work=VentureBeat |date=15 December 2011 |accessdate=5 August 2015}}</ref>
For the second one:<ref>{{cite news |title=UberCab Closes Uber Angel Round |author=Michael Arrington |url=http://techcrunch.com/2010/10/15/ubercab-closes-uber-angel-round/ |work=TechCrunch |date=15 April 2010 |accessdate=22 July 2015}}</ref>
I have question for you and Wikidemon (and any others looking at this) regarding uberPOP and uberPOOL in the Paris section. This is given its own section separate from the mentions of uberPOP and uberPOOL as part of the product development; this seems overly detailed about just this one location, do you think it should stay with the Development history section etc. or could the details somehow be incorporated into the part of the article discussing the legal issues? I wasn't sure how best to make that work, so I'm interested to see what you think. Craig at Uber (talk) 17:48, 6 August 2015 (UTC) 15:15, 6 August 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I'm looking for someone to help me out with the better source needed note I left last week. CorporateM, Wikidemon, are either of you able to look at the sources I provided? I'd just like to get the tags removed if we can. Also, any opinions on the uberPOP and uberPOOL in Paris section? Thanks again, Craig at Uber (talk) 17:30, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

@CorporateM: Should these two "better sources" be added into the article? I'd like to clear this long-outstanding edit request. Thanks,  —SMALLJIM  18:24, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

@Craig at Uber: Yes check.svg Done Daniel kenneth (talk) 15:01, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

Surge Pricing NPOV[edit]

The section "Surge Pricing", especially the second half, seems to violate Wikipedia's rule about presenting a NPOV. The citations in these paragraphs are hardly neutral. One cited article, two of the three authors are Uber employees. Another citation is an editorial in favor of Uber's surge pricing policy. The section needs to be rewritten and re-cited. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cburton12 (talkcontribs) 23:16, 25 March 2016 (UTC)

Expansion in Seoul[edit]

I was looking at the section about expansion and I would like to fix a sentence where it talks about operating UberX in Seoul. after reading some references, I found out that Uber is illegal under South Korean law, so it seems occurred that the company launched uberX services in Seoul.Imjaebin83 (talk) 23:45, 16 April 2016 (UTC)

Removed expansion area[edit]

I've removed the expansion area as it's not encyclopedia content, and instead just a list of when and where the company has expanded. It's pages long, and doesn't add anything to understanding the company. The area reads much nicer without it as well, any thoughts on this move? q (talk) 17:32, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

I agree that it is better without the full list in this article. Would it possibly justify its own article, or a dramatically scaled-down version left in this article? Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 22:48, 26 August 2016 (UTC)