On-demand economy, a subtle shift towards a tiered society

When data is used to muzzle you…

The Rating Game – The Verge

More subtly, ratings result in a sort of coerced friendliness, emotional labor markedly different from unrated taxi drivers. “Ratings create strong incentives for drivers to be subservient, to smile, to be happy even when they’re not,” said Temple Law School professor Brishen Rogers. “Taxi drivers have this freedom to be grumpy. It’s an entitlement of the job.” […] Many drivers advised smiling and nodding, deflecting potentially controversial topics, and generally avoiding engaging riders any more than absolutely necessary.

“A lot of the history of the union movement was the fight against arbitrary managerial decision-making,” said Sachs. “You don’t want to allow management to fire someone because they don’t like them, because they looked at them funny. One thing unions do is they impose rules, just cause firing provisions to curtail managerial power so it’s fair. But there’s no check on what customers can do, and it’s almost impossible to imagine how you’d impose such a check.”


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