We do not use the term “sharing” to refer to an interaction like this: “I’ll give you some food if you pay me.” We call that buying. We don’t use it in this situation either: “I’ll let you temporarily use my toy if you pay me.” We call that renting.
In light of this, we should call out Uber for what it is: a company in control of a platform that originally facilitated peer-to-peer renting, not sharing, and that eventually transformed into the de facto boss of an army of self-employed employees.
In megacities such as London or New York there’s a tendency to strip all non-commercial elements from market interactions.
This phenomenon is even more acute in faceless internet commerce.
A platform corporation really only owns two things. It owns algorithms hosted on servers, and it owns network effects—or people’s dependence.