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.
My name – Nicole Cumming – has been flagged as inappropriate by Lyft. I’m not thrilled with my name either, but I had no idea it violated Community Guidelines. pic.twitter.com/qusvDTsAxy— Nicole Cumming (@necummi) December 19, 2019
“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?”
I need @lyft to explain what about the name "Kwame" doesn't fit your community guidelines.— Kwame (@KwameSomPimpong) December 19, 2019
Meaning: boy born on Saturday
What about that doesn't fit? Who wrote the algorithm for this? pic.twitter.com/4iXvsUyERI
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:
My last name is Poon and I got the same email 💀💀— Angela. (@SaltyZamboni) December 20, 2019
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.
I got this message too. Apparently "Cincinnati" is now cancelled.— Josh Cincinnati (@acityinohio) December 19, 2019
(oh and I used to work at Lyft 🤷♂️)
This right here is why Dick Van Dyke has never driven for Lyft.— Louis Gray (@louisgray) December 19, 2019
I've had issues with other services because my last name has the word "ass" in it…— Mark Grass (@grassonyourlawn) December 20, 2019
Same thing happened to my old boss, Steven Genitals— Renaissance Man-child (@CogitoErgoJokes) December 20, 2019
Same here! https://t.co/5pgrGIwi2L— Mike Dick (@miked1ck) December 20, 2019
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.
Update – @lyft did send an apology email and They do a great job. Mistakes happen, algorithms and data dumps aren’t perfect. Can’t blame them for working to improve their experience for all. Thanks for letting us have some fun with this! https://t.co/GMAi2wxI2t— Craig Dick (@CraigDick) December 20, 2019