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Electric Scooters Blast Profanity and Racism After Hacking in Australia

People have found many destructive ways to express their displeasure with electric scooter share, but this is a first.
April 27, 2019, 7am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Valencia, Spain

Peter Holley reports on events in Brisbane, Australia, where a small number of Lime Scooters were recently hacked to broadcast racist and profane messages.

It’s not a modern twist on Christine, the Stephen King novel — and subsequent 1983 horror flick — about a car possessed by a demonic spirit out for revenge. Instead, it’s the latest bit of bad fortune to befall Lime, the global scooter giant that has spent much of the last year spreading across the world and simultaneously battling negative headlines and head-scratching setbacks.

A hacker was able to penetrate the audio files of the scooters. The result was captured on video by a local television news team.

Holley also reports Lyft's response to the incident: "'We are aware that a few Lime scooters in Brisbane have had their audio files changed by vandals recording over the existing audio file with inappropriate and offensive speech,' the company said in a statement. 'It’s not smart, it’s not funny and is akin to changing a ringtone.'"

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Published on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 in The Washington Post
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