People Are Not Happy with Uber’s #Undelete Graffiti Mural

Apr 21, 2017

A seemingly-innocent Uber team-building activity is getting attention for all the wrong reasons.

It appears that a group of 20 Uber staffers (19 male and one female) spray-painted a massive mural of the word “#Undelete.” The hashtag painting is likely a reference to the January #DeleteUber boycott, which erupted on Twitter after some users accused the ride-hailing service of trying to profit from taxi drivers' decision not to pick up passengers at New York City's JFK airport to protest President Donald Trump’s immigration ban. Instead of following suit, Uber responded by turning off its "surge pricing" feature.

Although Uber CEO Travis Kalanick later announced he would create a $3 million legal defense fund for drivers affected by the ban, more than 200,000 customers deleted their Uber accounts. The hashtag resurfaced a month later after a former employee detailed the sexual harassment she allegedly experienced at the company.

Photos of the art project emerged on 1AM’s website early last week. 1AM, which stands for First Amendment, is a California-based street art organization with a mission to inspire “the public to use their voice with this artistic form of the freedom of speech.”

“Uber came by our San Francisco gallery to create a custom mural on our wall,” reads a post published on 1AM’s site. “This team building activity is great for large groups that want to experience the process of creating a giant mural together along with learning the history of graffiti and street art.”

Twitter users reacted to the #Undelete fiasco with comments such as "Dear God," "Looking more clueless than United's CEO," and "if you'd like us to #undelete how about #unharass women."

Uber did not immediately respond to Fortune’s request for comment.

This is not the first time the tech giant has been blasted for being tone-deaf. In March, Kalanick accidentally went to a “Babes and Balls” party, where he was photographed hanging out with fellow tech billionaires including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Dropbox CEO Drew Houston.

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