San Francisco

Lyft Sparks Censorship Fears With Email Asking Drivers to Speak to Company Before Media

Lyft apparently doesn't agree with the adage, "Any publicity is good publicity."

In an email, the San Francisco-based ride-sharing giant asked its drivers to pump the brakes before speaking with the press, and instead check in with Lyft officials first, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

The July note states: “Email if you’re ever contacted by a reporter. Speaking of Lyft in the news: We’re here to help if you get approached for an interview. Shoot a note to our communications team and they’ll make sure you’re prepared for any questions.”

The message has created a stir, raising concerns about censorship.

Some drivers have taken to online message boards, calling it a scare tactic. Others say this is Lyft’s way of trying to get in front of bad publicity, which has plagued its biggest competitor, Uber, according to the SF Examiner.

Drivers also wrote that they are independent contractors, not employees, so Lyft cannot restrict their actions.

Scott Coriell, a Lyft spokesperson, shared a statement with NBC Bay Area, which reads: "Drivers are free to speak to the press — and we know they do all the time. There are no restrictions or requirements. We often hear from drivers who are approached by the media and have questions or concerns. We wanted to remind them that we're here as a resource. We have sent similar reminders in the past."

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