Uber found itself in a firestorm after the company tweeted out a racial slur in response to a customer seemingly seeking customer service help. Although much of the internet was incensed by the use of the word, the explanation about how it actually happened is bizarre yet true. Still, will the people forgive the ride-sharing app for the offensive oversight? 

This situation has spun Twitter into one of its outrage moments but has also posed the question about how companies regularly man their social media pages.

What started as a typical customer service tweet from a seemingly regular customer turned into a Twitter catastrophe.

"@Uber_Support I had an awful driver today. I want my money back!!!!! Please respond so we can work this out," read a tweet from a now-deleted account called @realTheeCheney. 

Uber promptly responded with a tweet that read, "We're so sorry about that N-----. Please send us a DM with your phone number with additional details of your concern, so we can connect." 


You read that right. Uber called someone that word and as expected, the internet instantly lit up.

The company issued an apology as soon as the tweet was discovered. "What happened with Uber’s social media accounts is unacceptable and should have never happened. I have a zero tolerance policy for racist, sexist, or xenophobic comments. They lost a customer," one fan raged. 

Unfortunately, not everyone accepts Uber's apology.

"I do not accept the apology. I am BLACK & currently an Uber driver who will be not driving anymore," one woman tweeted the driving service directly. "Eff y’all and the ride-share u came in! The CEOs and shareholders R getting rich and the hiring Racist MF‘s? #UberSucks #Lyft #SwitchToLyft."


Some are encouraging an Uber boycott.

"Everybody use @lyft @AskLyft only. No more @Uber. They are #racist. #Boycott. #Protest #Uber. #BlackLivesMatter #NightKing #NotToday," another critic tweeted. 

But before you rush to cancel your Uber account and delete the app, you might want to know one important fact about the account that originally tweeted Uber.

According to multiple news outlets, the @realtheeCheney account — which has been deleted — is actually a leftist account that supports the Make America Great Again (MAGA) movement. The page regularly baits other Twitter pages into tweeting racial slurs all the time. 

I know. It sounds relatively boring and uninspiring to spend time repeatedly doing this, but in the words of Donald Gover, this is America and people think corny stuff like that is funny.

So how does the Twitter racial slur baiting work? It's as easy as taking advantage of bots. 

Once again, Revelist would like to iterate that this is no rumor. Multiple news outlets have confirmed that the @RealtheeCheney account changed its name to the racial slur to get the automated bot to respond using that name. Had the name been "Annie," "Robert," or "Jasmine, then the bot would have repeated those names as well. 

Yeah, it was a sick unfortunate joke. 

To give you a better idea of how Uber runs its Twitter account, check out this screenshot.

The Uber Support page is set up to address users by the first name it detects in a person's profile. The point is to obviously a create a more personable customer service experience while maybe skimping out on paying an actual social media person to respond manually to the many tweets the company receives. Since the racial slur incident, the brand has removed that feature from its Twitter responses or hired an actual human who deserves the salary and the benefits. Let's hope the latter is what went down for the sake of making America great again, eh?

This is also a lesson for Uber and more companies to update the screenings for their social media. 

Uber didn't intentionally tweet out a racial slur despite the social media frenzy surrounding the use of the N-word on its Twitter account. Although this may not be a situation that everyone feels the need to "cancel" Uber over, let's hope Uber situates things so this never happens again.

"Uber apologizes after super racist tweet. This situation highlights the need to flag words that shouldn't be repeated by automated systems even if they are an account name," one critic wrote on Twitter. 

It's also important to highlight that this isn't the first time a weirdo on the internet has wasted his mental resources on tricking unmanned spaces on the world wide web. 

"There've been instances where Google Maps showed racist terms due to algorithm bias and/or manipulation," one Twitter user pointed out during a discussion about the issue. "It's a good idea to have awareness of these things in order to not convey the wrong stuff. People generally don't have time to tell if something is intentional or accidental."

Point well made.

Never forget how Google allowed the White House to be labeled in 2015.

photo: Bravo

According to Google, it had nothing to do with the White House being labeled as the "[N-word] house while Barack Obama was president. The company fixed the issue and apologized to the public for the oversight. The public was ticked off but it's four years later and we're all still Googling the hourly weather among other things. Uber can survive this Twitter mess, right?