Scooter Company’s Social Media Contradicts Safety Claims
ATLANTA, GA. – An online article at qz.com discusses the safety claims made by electric scooter company Bird and the ways in which the company’s Instagram account contradicts its public messages.*
Dockless electric scooters have become a craze in many large cities, like Atlanta, Georgia. The vehicles seem to have appeared en masse in major cities overnight and have been met with both positive and negative feedback. With more and more people using scooters for short-distance travel, more scooter accidents have been reported. Many of these accidents have caused people serious injuries.
With each new accident, scooter companies issue public statements and messages, saying they are committed to rider safety. But a look at one company’s social media seems to present a different sentiment. Bird, one of the larger electric scooter companies on the scene, frequently posts photos of people using its scooters on Instagram and shares photos that other people have posted. A team of researchers recently analyzed Bird’s Instagram posts from September 2017 to November 2018.
The researchers found that close to 70 percent of Bird’s photos on Instagram featured people, and only 6 percent of those photos depicted people wearing helmets. Even fewer – 1.5 percent – featured any message about helmets or safety gear. Most of the pictures show young, stylish people riding Bird’s scooters, and many of them are behaving dangerously on the scooters.
Numerous photos show women riding the scooters in high heels, some people are wearing masks, some are wearing mascot-like costumes, and some are riding on one foot or performing other acrobatic moves while on the Bird scooters. Almost all of them are helmet-less. The company’s social media could be influencing how people use its scooters and could indicate a lesser commitment to safety than Bird projects after accidents.
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