A Sydney, Australia, gunman kept as many as 40 people hostage at a cafe for 16 hours. After the daylong standoff, police stormed the cafe, ending the siege. A beautiful hashtag, #IllRideWithYou, came out of the event, but, unfortunately, not all responses to the crisis were positive.
Uber quadrupled fares during the siege.
We are all concerned with events in CBD. Fares have increased to encourage more drivers to come online & pick up passengers in the area.
— Uber Sydney (@Uber_Sydney) December 15, 2014
Australians attempting to flee the city's central business district experienced crazy Uber surge pricing during the event. The company was charging riders $82 (or $100 Australian dollars) minimum. Uber tweeted in defense of the hiked rates, saying that fares were increased to encourage more drivers to pick up passengers based on an automated algorithm. Many critics claim that the ride-share service should have capped the prices, as the company does in the US in event of an emergency. The surge pricing was met with outrage, and Uber responded by refunding rides from the area. Riders can redeem their refund by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Trips from the central business district are free, while trips to the area are still surging. This situation is one of many issues riders have with Uber.
People took selfies in front of the hostage location.
— Matt Karolian (@mkarolian) December 15, 2014
This is one selfie that is definitely not OK. People were snapping photos of themselves in front of the Lindt Café, where the hostages were held, adding such hashtags as "hostage selfie situation." Twitter was not happy with the selfie takers. Next time there's a dire situation happening near you, think twice before you take a photo of yourself.
— Irfan Hutagalung (@irfanrhtg) December 15, 2014
Front Page Image Source: Facebook user Uber