Following a weekend exposé that used leaked internal data to claim that thousands of customers claimed rape and sexual assault, app-based car service Uber rejected the report and said that number is overblown. BuzzFeed published a screenshot of a search for “tickets” sent to its customer-service team that showed 6,160 hits for the search term “sexual assault” and 5,827 for “rape.” The company claimed in a post that, in reality, it received five complaints alleging rape and 170 with a “legitimate claim of sexual assault” between December 2012 and August 2015. Uber has also maintained that BuzzFeed’s published numbers include anyone who misspelled the term “rate,” anyone who wrote a phrase such as “you raped my wallet,” or even those had an account with the letters R, A, P and E consecutively—such as an email like email@example.com. Uber also countered that the five rape allegations, their official number, represent 0.0000009% of customer experiences during the period in question, while the sexual-assault claims accounted for one in every 3.3 million trips.
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