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Lyft told users their last names violate community guidelines

Users with last names including Dick and Cumming were asked to change their names on the app.

Dec 20, 2019, 1:39 pm*

IRL

Samira Sadeque 

Samira Sadeque

Lyft users with last names including Dick, Cocks, and Cumming were told their names violated “community guidelines,” according to tweets shared by users.

Users Craig Dick, Cara Dick, and Nicole Cumming on Thursday shared their experiences trying to set up accounts.

“I’m not thrilled with my name either, but I had no idea it violated Community Guidelines,” Cumming tweeted.

 

“If I can’t use my legal name what exactly would you like me to use,” Dick asked in a tweet. 

 

Another user, Kwame Som Pimpong, had a similar issue. “I need @lyft to explain what about the name ‘Kwame’ doesn’t fit your community guidelines,” Pimpong wrote. “What about that doesn’t fit? Who wrote the algorithm for this?”

 

Cocks shared a screenshot of a notice from Lyft, and wrote, “I’m truly not being disrespectful. It’s my actual name.”

 

The screenshot showed a notice from Lyft that said his name did not “align” with the company’s Community Guidelines. 

“We require all members of the Lyft community be respectful to help create a comfortable ride,” the notice read. Cocks was given a deadline of Saturday to update the name on the account.

Cumming’s tweet garnered a response from another user who received a similar note: 

 

When New York Times journalist Kate Conger shared a tweet with screenshots, other users shared similar experiences and said their names didn’t get a pass. 

https://twitter.com/feelsalrightman/status/1207815478950998016?s=20

 

In a statement to the Daily Dot on Friday, Lyft said it was addressing an issue where people “were using names that were either inaccurate, offensive or both.”

“In trying to fix the problem, we cast too wide of a net,” the statement said. “We were well-intentioned, but our response clearly led to errors that we are working to correct, and we apologize.”

The issues with last names on users’ accounts come amid criticism of Lyft’s safety measures for passengers. In September, 14 women filed a lawsuit claiming that Lyft mishandled allegations against drivers of sexual assault, harassment, and rape.

 

Craig Dick, who also said he received a warning about his name from Lyft, shared on Friday morning that Lyft had resolved the issue and sent an apology email.

“Mistakes happen, algorithms and data dumps aren’t perfect,” Dick tweeted.

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*First Published: Dec 20, 2019, 1:34 pm