Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-55597f9d44-5zjcf Total loading time: 1.077 Render date: 2022-08-13T01:39:22.147Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

8 - Words Matter

How Tech Media Helped Write Gig Companies into Existence

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 October 2020

Deepa Das Acevedo
Affiliation:
University of Alabama School of Law
Get access

Summary

When companies like Uber and TaskRabbit appeared in Silicon Valley, there was a collective media swoon over these new app-based service-delivery corporations and their products. Pundits and journalists made it seem like these companies were ushering in not only an inevitable future, but a desirable one. Their content helped convince the public and regulators that these businesses were different from existing corporations – that they were startups with innovative technology platforms designed to disrupt established firms by efficiently connecting consumers to independent, empowered gig workers. Those in the media normalized and at times generated this rhetoric and framing, which was then taken up by politicians, amplified by academics, and finally enshrined in laws that legalized the business models of these companies. The positive, uncritical coverage prevailed for years and helped pave the way for a handful of companies that represent a tiny fraction of the economy to have an outsized impact on law, mainstream corporate practices, and the way we think about work. The force that powered the swoon was a relatively new and journalistically problematic trend in media: “tech” reporting.

Type
Chapter
Information
Beyond the Algorithm
Qualitative Insights for Gig Work Regulation
, pp. 169 - 188
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Acey, Madeleine. “What Is the Sharing Economy?” CNN, June, 2013. http://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2013/06/world/sharing-economy/Google Scholar
Berger, Sarah. “This 38-Year-Old Quit His Finance Job – Here’s How He’s Making 6 Figures Freelancing on Fiverr.” CNBC, December 20, 2018. cnbc.com/2018/12/18/how-this-38-year-old-is-making-6-figures-freelancing-on-fiverr.Google Scholar
Bowman, Emma. “When the Sharing Economy Brings Unexpected Experiences.” NPR, April 27, 2015. npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2015/04/27/402563555/when-the-sharing-economy-brings-unexpected-experiences.Google Scholar
Brustein, Joshua. “In App Land, Lots of Ways to Get a Ride.” New York Times, December 2, 2012. https://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/02/get-a-ride-appsGoogle Scholar
Bryant, Adam. “Bryan Chesky of AirBnB, on Scratching the Itch to Create.” New York Times, October 12, 2014. www.nytimes.com/2014/10/12/business/brian-chesky-of-airbnb-on-scratching-the-itch-to-create.Google Scholar
Casselman, Ben. “Maybe the Gig Economy Isn’t Reshaping Work After All.” New York Times, June 7, 2018. www.nytimes.com/2018/06/07/business/economy/work-gig-economy.html.Google Scholar
Chen, Brian. “Uber Maker of Summon-a-Car App, Adds Fare Splitting.” New York Times, July 15, 2013. https://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/15/uber-maker-of-summon-a-car-app-adds-fare-splitting.Google Scholar
CNBC. “Uber’s $90 K salary could disrupt the taxi business.” May 28, 2014. cnbc.com/2014/05/28/uber-may-be-tripling-cab-driver-salaries.Google Scholar
CNN Business. “What Is the Shared Economy?”, November 28, 2014. www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElJnFgpPATA.Google Scholar
Cowen, Tyler. “How Technology Could Help Fight Income Inequality.” New York Times, December 6, 2014. www.nytimes.com/2014/12/07/upshot/how-technology-could-help-fight-income-inequality.Google Scholar
Davidson, Nestor M., Infranca, John J.The Sharing Economy as an Urban Phenomenon.” Yale Law & Policy Review, Volume 34, Issue 2, 2016. https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi%3Freferer=www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1697&context=ylpr.Google Scholar
D’Onfro, Jillian. “Uber Says Its Drivers Are Making $75,000–$90,000 a Year.” Business Insider, May 27, 2014. businessinsider.com/uber-drivers-salary-90000–2014-5.Google Scholar
Douzet, Alexandre. “How the Sharing Economy and Instant Gratification Will Shape Your Career.” Mashable, September 7, 2014. mashable.com/2014/09/07/sharing-economy-job-search/.Google Scholar
Federal Trade Commission. “Uber Agrees to Pay $20 Million to Settle FTC Charges That It Recruited Prospective Drivers with Exaggerated Earnings Claims.” January 19, 2017. ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2017/01/uber-agrees-pay-20-million-settle-ftc-charges-it-recruited.Google Scholar
Friedman, Thomas. “Welcome to the ‘Sharing Economy.’” New York Times, July 21, 2013. www.nytimes.com/2013/07/21/opinion/sunday/friedman-welcome-to-the-sharing-economy.Google Scholar
Harnett, Sam. “The Movement to Kill the Sharing Economy.” KQED, February 4, 2016. www.kqed.org/news/10851717/the-movement-to-kill-the-phrase-sharing-economy.Google Scholar
Harnett, Sam. “What the ‘Sharing Economy’ Costs Workers.” KQED, December 18, 2014. www.kqed.org/news/10374498/workers-in-the-sharing-economy-struggle-to-be-heard.Google Scholar
Jones, Steven. “Renting Isn’t Sharing.” San Francisco Bay Guardian, Volume 48, Number 34. 2014. http://sfbgarchive.48hills.org/sfbgarchive/2014/05/20/renting-isnt-sharing/.Google Scholar
Kaufman, Micha. “Five Reasons Half of You Will Be Freelancers in 2020.” Forbes, February 28, 2014. forbes.com/sites/michakaufman/2014/02/28/five-reasons-half-of-you-will-be-freelancers-in-2020/.Google Scholar
Kaufman, Micha. “The Gig Economy: The Force That Could Save the American Worker?” Wired, September, 2013. wired.com/insights/2013/09/the-gig-economy-the-force-that-could-save-the-american-worker/.Google Scholar
Kedmey, Dan. “Do UberX Drivers Really Take Home $90K a Year on Average? Not Exactly.” Time, May 27, 2014. time.com/119587/do-uberx-drivers-really-take-home-90k-a-year-on-average-not-exactly.Google Scholar
Kosoff, Maya. “How Much You Have to Work to Make $100,000 Driving for Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar.” Business Insider, January 13, 2015. businessinsider.com/where-to-work-to-to-make-100000-driving-for-uber-lyft-and-sidecar-2015–1 uberpeople.net/threads/so-which-one-of-you-is-making-over-100 k.3875.Google Scholar
Le Tellier, Alexandra. “Opinion: The Sharing Economy Isn’t ‘Collaborative Consumption,’ It’s ‘Disaster Capitalism.’” Los Angeles Times, June 5, 2014, www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-sharing-economy-collaborative-consumption-disaster-capitalism-20140604-story.html.Google Scholar
Manjoo, Farhad. “The Uber I.P.O. Is a Moral Stain on Silicon Valley. New York Times, May 1, 2019. www.nytimes.com/2019/05/01/opinion/uber-ipo.html.Google Scholar
McFarland, Matt. “Uber’s Remarkable Growth Could End the Era of Poorly Paid Cab Drivers.” The Washington Post, May 27, 2014. washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2014/05/27/ubers-remarkable-growth-could-end-the-era-of-poorly-paid-cab-drivers.Google Scholar
Meece, Mickey. “Car-Pooling Makes a Surge on Apps and Social Media.” New York Times, July 4, 2012. www.nytimes.com/2012/07/05/technology/technology-makes-car-pooling-safer-and-easier.Google Scholar
Morgan, Jacob. “Why the CEO of Fiverr Thinks the Future of Work Is About the Gig Economy.” Forbes, November 30, 2015. forbes.com/sites/jacobmorgan/2015/11/30/why-the-ceo-of-fiverr-thinks-the-future-of-work-is-about-the-gig-economy/.Google Scholar
NPR. “For Ridesharing Apps Like Lyft, Commerce Is a Community.” October 14, 2013. www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2013/11/14/245242805/for-ridesharing-apps-like-lyft-commerce-is-a-community.Google Scholar
NPR. “Share and Share Alike, A Time of Collaborative Consumption.” November 11, 2013. www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2013/11/11/244570695/q-a-a-time-of-collaborative-consumption.Google Scholar
Peevey, Michael, Wittenberg, Diane. California Goes Green: A Roadmap to Climate Leadership. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. September 13, 2017.Google Scholar
Rao, Leena. “UberCab Takes the Hassle out of Booking a Car Service.” TechCrunch, July 5, 2010. https://techcrunch.com/2010/07/05/ubercab-takes-the-hassle-out-of-booking-a-car-service.Google Scholar
Rao, Leena. “Y Combinator’s Airbed and Breakfast Casts a Wider Net for Housing Rentals as AirBnB.” TechCrunch, March 4, 2009. https://techcrunch.com/2009/03/04/y-combinators-airbed-and-breakfast-casts-a-wider-net-for-housing-rentals-as-airbnb.Google Scholar
Raz, Guy. “Lyft: John Zimmer.” NPR, June 25, 2018.Google Scholar
Rosenberg, Tina. “It’s Not Just Nice to Share, It’s the Future.” New York Times, June 5, 2013. https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/05/its-not-just-nice-to-share-its-the-future/.Google Scholar
Scheiber, Noam. “Silicon Valley Is Ruining ‘Sharing’ for Everybody.” The New Republic, August 13, 2014, https://newrepublic.com/article/119072/silicon-valleys-sharing-economy-airbnb-lyft-are-selling-big-lie.Google Scholar
Shiftehfar, Reza. “Uber’s Big Data Platform: 100+ Petabytes with Minute Latency.” Uber Blog, October 17, 2018. https://eng.uber.com/uber-big-data-platform/.Google Scholar
Silver, James. “The Sharing Economy, a Whole New Way of Living.” The Guardian, August 4, 2013. www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/aug/04/internet-technology-fon-taskrabbit-blablacar.Google Scholar
Stein, Joel. “Baby, You Can Drive My Car, and Do My Errands, and Rent My Stuff … ” Time, January 29, 2015. time.com/3687305/testing-the-sharing-economy.Google Scholar
Stemler, Abby. “Betwixt and Between: Regulating the Sharing Economy.” Fordham Urban Law Journal, December 8, 2014. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2535656.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tanz, Jason. “How Airbnb and Lyft Finally Got Americans to Trust Each Other.” Wired, April 23, 2014. www.wired.com/2014/04/trust-in-the-share-economy/.Google Scholar
Thompson, Derek. “AirBnB CEO Brian Chesky on Building a Company and Starting a ‘Sharing’ Revolution.” The Atlantic, August 13, 2013. theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/08/airbnb-ceo-brian-chesky-on-building-a-company-and-starting-a-sharing-revolution/278635/.Google Scholar
Julia, Ticona, Alexandra, Mateescu. “Trusted Strangers: Carework Platforms’ Cultural Entrepreneurship in the On-Demand Economy.” Sage Journals, May 15, 2018. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1461444818773727?journalCode=nmsa.Google Scholar
WBUR. “Trust in the Age of the Sharing Economy.” July 9, 2014. www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2014/07/09/trust-sharing-economy.Google Scholar
Weiss, Geoff. “The Median Income of an Uber Driver in NYC Is Nearly $100,000.” Entrepreneur, May 28, 2014. entrepreneur.com/article/234289.Google Scholar
Wilhelm, Alex. “Wag Launches Its On-Demand Dog Walking App in San Francisco.” TechCrunch, April 5, 2014. https://techcrunch.com/2015/04/05/wag-launches-its-on-demand-dog-walking-app-in-san-francisco.Google Scholar
Wilhelm, Alex. “Whisky as a Service in San Francisco: Instacart v. Lasso.” TechCrunch, December 12, 2013. https://techcrunch.com/2013/12/12/whiskey-as-a-service-in-san-francisco-instacart-v-lasso.Google Scholar

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×