Engineer who blew lid on Uber's toxic sexist culture now menaced by creepy 'smear campaign'

Who could possibly have a grudge against Susan Fowler?

Digging

The engineer who claims Uber is rife with sexism and lying executives has said someone is researching her background for a smear campaign.

On Sunday, Susan Fowler, a former Uber engineer and O'Reilly author, published an explosive blog post telling of her time at the scandal-hit ride-hailing biz, including claims of institutional sexism, lying management, and a toxic corporate culture.

The post went viral and spurred other current and ex-Uber staff to make similar claims. There were tales of cocaine-snorting sessions in Las Vegas bathrooms, the bad kind of hands-on management, and one tale of an Uber executive hijacking a shuttle bus and taking people for a ride.

It also put Uber into PR panic mode. The San Francisco upstart promptly hired Eric Holder, the former US attorney-general under Barack Obama, to investigate if Fowler's claims had any merit. There have also been numerous internal meetings in which management was reportedly told that it isn't a case of if the biz has an institutional sexism problem, but why.

In some circles, Fowler has been praised for shining a spotlight on a problem that the tech industry still can't seem to get a handle on. However, it seems someone is less keen on her.

"Research for the smear campaign has begun. If you are contacted by anyone asking for personal and intimate info about me, please report asap," she tweeted today. "I don't know who is doing this or why. If someone contacts you, please send me their contact information immediately."

It wasn't that long ago that Uber was accused of contemplating stalker tactics. At a private dinner in 2014, Uber's then-VP of business Emil Michael advocated for setting up a million-dollar slush fund to pay private dicks to probe into the lives of journalists and their families.

Uber had no comment at time of publication.

Meanwhile, it's claimed Uber's self-driving car software caused one of its Volvos to jump a red light late last year. The company had blamed one of its employees, who was riding in the vehicle, for the error. ®


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