Uber funder Ashton Kutcher supports investigating journalists
Actor Ashton Kutcher is jumping to Uber’s defense after an executive at the ride-hailing company suggested that it hire investigators to target journalists.
“What is so wrong about digging up dirt on shady journalist?” Kutcher — a major investor who has supported Uber as well as Airbnb, Spotify and other tech companies — tweeted on Wednesday.
The remarks come a day after Uber distanced itself from one executive’s reported plan to pry into the lives of reporters who had been critical of the company.
On Tuesday, BuzzFeed reported that senior executive Emil Michael suggested spending “a million dollars” to hire researchers and journalists to look into journalists’ “personal lives” and “families.”
Michael subsequently apologized for the remarks, which he said occurred during a supposedly private dinner.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has also distanced himself from the remarks, which he said were “terrible and do not represent the company.”
Kutcher’s comments seem to show that at least some backers of the application are on board with the idea, however.
The ride-sharing application has won legions of fans during its rapid rise.
Reports about poor pay for the company’s contracted drivers, stories of women who have been abused and kidnapped during their trips and tough tactics against competitor Lyft, however, have all added to the criticism. The company has also been fighting a long battle with taxi unions and local regulators, who have occasionally ruled against the service.
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