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Business News/ News / Trends/  Uber bans woman called 'Swastika’ Chandra' over her name, apologises later: 'We appreciate her...'
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Uber bans woman called 'Swastika’ Chandra' over her name, apologises later: 'We appreciate her...'

Uber banned woman Swastika Chandra in Australia over her name. Despite her name meaning 'good luck' in Sanskrit, Uber flagged it as offensive.

Uber banned woman Swastika Chandra in Australia over her name (AP Photo/ Nam Y. Huh ,File)Premium
Uber banned woman Swastika Chandra in Australia over her name (AP Photo/ Nam Y. Huh ,File)

A woman in Australia was banned from using Uber's ride-share and food delivery service as her name had association with Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party. As per New York Post report, Swastika Chandra who grew up in Fiji said that her she was banned from using Uber services as her first name was flagged offensive. Chandra explained that her first name meant 'good luck’ in Sanskrit. 

Speaking to A Current Affair, Chandra said, “I was putting in an order for food one afternoon and went to the payment stage and this pop-up came up saying, ‘Your first name is in violation and you need to change your name on the app.’"

"They don’t know that the Hindus used it for thousands of years before Hitler used it in the wrong way," she told A Current Affair, adding that she was proud of her name and wouldn't change it for anyone. Her name was banned and was flagged offensive due to its resemblance to Hitler's party flag symbol. Some media reports state that she was banned from using Uber services since October 2023. Chandra also informed A Current Affair that she her name did not encounter any issues with her birth certificate, Australian citizenship certificate, health care card, or even driver's license.

In a report by ACA, with the help of The Hindu Council along with the NSW Attorneyr General, she was exempted to rejoin the platform. Not just this, the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies also came in support of her and said, “It is clear in the circumstances that there is a material difference between Ms Chandra innocently, and without malice, using her natural name and the deployment of a sinister symbol to promote hate or foster division."

What did Uber say in its statement?

While issuing an apology to Swastika Chandra, Uber issued a statement saying, “Uber is committed to facilitating a safe and welcoming environment for all users. For that reason, Uber has a global policy of restricting access to users whose names entered into the Uber app contain potentially offensive words."

Further adding, it said, “We understand that there are different cultural nuances to names, and therefore our teams address incidents like this on a case-by-case basis to ensure we evaluate each account fairly."

At the end, it said, “In this case, after reviewing MS. Chandra's request, we reinstated her access to the app. We have apologized to Ms Chandra for the inconvenience this caused her, and we appreciate her patience as we reviewed the matter, which took longer than we hoped it would."

 

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Published: 21 Apr 2024, 12:52 PM IST
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