On Saturday night, Uber’s New York City Twitter account announced that it was turning off surge pricing for trips at JFK airport in light of the protests against Donald Trump’s executive order that bans immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. Shortly after, Dan O’Sullivan became the first to tweet #DeleteUber—a hashtag that quickly became a top-trending topic on Twitter and the No.1 trend in the country that same night.
After the New York Taxi Workers Alliance called for a one hour work stoppage in solidarity with the protests, Uber announced it was turning off its surge pricing. But Sullivan (who goes by the twitter handle @Bro_Pair), and what is now thousands of others, swiftly accused the ride-sharing company of trying to profit from the work stoppage by taxi drivers.
In an interview with the Daily Beast, Sullivan said though he takes credit for the hashtag, he didn’t invent the idea of an Uber boycott. Regardless, his initial #DeleteUber tweets now have over 7,000 retweets—and are what’s to credit for the hashtag that has now gone viral.
“Let this be a warning: if you are a corporation who thinks you will ride out Trump, and quietly make money at his side, you will be made to pay a price,” O’Sullivan first told The Daily Beast.
He continued: “The popularity of #deleteUber only exists because decent people around the country and world—including the unionized cab drivers Uber hates and targets—took to the streets, occupying airports in defense of refugees, immigrants, and Muslims.”
Though Uber has attempted to quiet the uproar by releasing several statements, it hasn’t had much success: Thousands (including people like George Takei and Lena Dunham) have tweeted the hashtag and posted screenshots of the account deletion page.
Separately, Lyft—one of Uber’s biggest competitors—announced a $1 million donation to the ACLU on Saturday.