Over the past two years, multiple independent and reputable studies have shown that Airbnb’s business model discriminates against minority hosts and guests, in terms of their ability to both generate revenue and book short-term rentals when compared to white/non-minority members of the host and guest community. Review the findings here.
One study done by the Harvard Business School in 2015 revealed that Black guests are 16% less likely to be given accommodation than similar guests with White-sounding names. Despite talk of change, Airbnb has yet to meaningfully address the widespread discrimination that occurs on the platform. The New York Times, New York Daily News, The Washington Post, Bloomberg and many other news outlets have reported on this serious issue.
New York City Public Advocate, Tish James, was so disturbed by the mounting evidence of outright racism that the platform enables, that she wrote an open letter to the Chief Product Officer of Airbnb.
On the heels of Congressional Black Caucus leaders releasing a letter condemning racism and the “exclusion of many African Americans and other minorities” on Airbnb, and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren calling for a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) probe into Airbnb, former Airbnb user Quirtina shares her experience dealing with racism on a platform that promises you’ll ‘belong anywhere.’ Watch the video and then send a message to Airbnb that enough is enough – they should be doing more to stop racial discrimination.
The debate over discrimination on Airbnb’s home-sharing platform is coming to the Democratic National Convention this week. A coalition critical of the service announced on Monday it would use the convention to publicize the discrimination allegations on television and in person to delegates attending the event in Philadelphia. And Airbnb is planning its own event to send the message that it takes the alleged bias seriously.
The fight over Airbnb in New York and elsewhere is making its way to this week’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Anti- and pro-Airbnb forces have each scheduled media buys and other measures designed to grab the attention of Hillary Clinton and Democratic delegates.
Airbnb likes to refer to itself as less a company than a “community.” To that end, it has made trust between real people a cornerstone of its business strategy in short-term home rentals. But new research suggests that when users get real, racism can result.
Everyone knows that it’s illegal for a hotel such as a Marriott or a Hilton to refuse you a room because of your race. But what about someone who temporarily rents out their own apartment on Airbnb? May he refuse to rent to someone of a particular race? If two people want to rent out the same room, may the landlord prefer a person of one race over another? Moreover, what if the preference is subconscious and a landlord doesn’t even realize she is discriminating? Although Airbnb currently offers more rooms than most major hotel chains, the answers to these questions are far from clear.
So many African-American travelers are getting inhospitable treatment in their Airbnb experience that the company should eliminate the use of profile pictures for all of its users, Public Advocate Letitia James said.
NPR hosted a Twitter chat on Friday, building on the hashtag created by Quirtina Crittenden, #AirbnbWhileBlack, to hear the challenges that black Airbnb renters have faced while using the website. The response was resounding. Black Twitter aired its frustrations with the service and many people reported having difficulties when trying to book places to stay.
The New York City Public Advocate’s office claimed Thursday that evidence suggests Airbnb is allowing for discrimination against both hosts and guests.
Airbnb is being urged to bring in new rules to prevent racism over mounting evidence the platform “enables widespread discrimination against hosts and guests based on their race”.
Airbnb Inc. was accused in a civil-rights lawsuit of ignoring a black man who complained that his reservation request with the online room-rental company was rejected by a host because of his race.
Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G. K. Butterfield (D- NC), and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) have contacted the CEO of Airbnb, Inc. to inquire about recent stories in the press regarding racism and the company’s online services.
Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Brian Schatz (Hawaii) asked a federal agency on Wednesday to examine the prevalence of commercial operators on websites such as Airbnb that facilitate short-term housing rentals.