Building an inclusive community: Scoop’s discrimination policies and why they matter

The Scoop community is built on the belief that together we can improve the commute, one trip at a time. Last month, the Scoop Team voiced ongoing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and committed to upholding our community value of respect, with the goal that every user feel safe and welcome in a carpool. We recognize that creating a truly inclusive environment is a never-ending process. We have a lot of work to do—and it starts with understanding when and how discrimination may manifest on our platform so that we can develop lasting solutions to correct it.

While we work toward these solutions, we wanted to share more about the steps we’ve already taken to tackle discrimination in carpools, namely through our discrimination policies. When we published our Community Guidelines in 2019, we codified our stance on discrimination between our community members. The goal of creating these policies was to guide our Trust & Safety Team on how to investigate and address reports of discrimination by carpoolers in a consistent and objective manner.


Scoop’s discrimination policies

If you experience discrimination while using Scoop, please contact ScoopCare.

At Scoop, we define discrimination as the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people on the grounds of age, disability, national origin, pregnancy, race/color, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. When a community member reports discrimination in a carpool, the incident is escalated to our Trust & Safety Team.

The team’s first step is to investigate the incident to understand better the context and the specific comment or behavior at issue. When applicable, we’ll speak to both parties to give each side a chance to share their perspective.

We take discrimination claims seriously, and the same goes for our investigations. We know many of our users rely on Scoop as their primary transportation mode, and banning them from Scoop may create a significant hardship. While we’ll never excuse discriminatory behavior, we are careful to investigate every report to make an objective decision based on the facts. If we find that a user has violated our discrimination policies, we will ban them from Scoop.

At its core, carpooling is about working together. That’s why we expect—and celebrate—that everyone who uses Scoop is a team player. While this team-player approach builds connections and community among our commuters, this also means that we rely on users to report incidents that violate our guidelines so that we can determine appropriate next steps. We’re aware that the effectiveness of our discrimination policies—enforced by our Trust & Safety Team—depend on whether our users report issues. However, we believe our failure to act shouldn’t be the fault of a user who has not reported.


Building an inclusive community means continuously evolving our policies

There are a few reasons we need to evolve the above approach. For one, we recognize that for every reported incident, others go unreported. Perhaps more importantly, we strongly believe the burden of reporting shouldn’t fall exclusively on the users subjected to unacceptable conduct. Likewise, we believe we have a responsibility to proactively address discrimination, regardless of whether a user chooses to report it.

The next step is to uncover any instances of unreported, persistent discrimination on our platform so that we can begin to correct it. We’re starting with racial discrimination specifically, and we’re looking at a variety of resources to inform our approach. In the coming months, we want to understand better experience gaps—the phenomenon where one group of people is adversely impacted by a part of our product experience more than another group—on Scoop due to perceived race.

We want Scoop to be a safe and equitable commute solution for everyone, and we strive to create an inclusive environment, so all users feel comfortable getting into a carpool. We’re committed to doing more, and we ask you to hold us accountable every step of the way.

Megan Bradley

Megan leads Scoop’s Trust and Safety and insurance efforts. When she’s not drafting policies and procedures dedicated to improving the carpooler experience, you can find her at Fort Funston with her gigantic pup, Hugo.