Two weeks ago, we announced donations to the NAACP and the Black Lives Matter foundation, and we shared antiracism resources with our hosts and guests. But these are just some of the actions we’ve taken. Another project we’ve been working on is one that will allow us to better understand and address racism and bias on Airbnb.
Project Lighthouse is a groundbreaking initiative we’re launching in the United States to uncover, measure, and overcome discrimination when booking or hosting on Airbnb.
Built to uncover discrimination
Designed with privacy in mind
We’ll reach out with more details by June 30, and while anyone will be able to opt out, we’ve made it effortless to take part. If you’re a U.S.-based host or guest who has not opted out, we may randomly select your profile photo and first name to gather insights.
We want you to know that as our team developed this project, we repeatedly sought feedback from the host community—we appreciate your thoughts on such an important topic.
We’ll follow up with more details, but in the meantime, we’re answering your questions in this Resource Center article about how the process works, how we’ll respect the privacy of participants, and more.
As always, thank you for being a host and for working with us to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere.
@Renee78 Not true about wanting the name being automatic discrimination. Some don't actually put their real name and it can be obvious if you see first and last names. Sometimes it's obvious from the first name alone. I've had several people try to book whose profile name didn't match the name they used in the welcome message or the one hosts used in their past reviews. So maybe you should stop assigning bad motives to everyone.
@Lizzie Thank you for the reply. However, you just stated how Airbnb in general collects feedback from hosts. I asked how, specifically, did Airbnb gather host input for this particular initiative. Or is that another one of Airbnb's secrets?
I have more information for you @Sarah977 🙂
For this, the team held 1:1 research sessions with hosts. They provided feedback on Project Lighthouse and their feelings towards this initiative.
I hope this helps.
@Lizzie Thanks for the further information. Still doesn't explain how and where they sourced the hosts who participated in these research sessions. Did they just randomly contact hosts? Did they only seek input from hosts who are in demographics which get discriminated against? Why is everything with Airbnb so secretive?
@Timothy291 If you are talking about the levels shown on this forum, they have nothing to do with Superhost. There are no levels to Superhost. The levels here only have to do with one's activity on this forum. How often you post and how many thumbs up your posts get. It's just a social media thing, as "likes" on other forums. It's nothing- it has no bearing on your hosting account (the levels aren't shown anywhere but this forum), or anything else.
I find it pretty offensive to know that my listing is being monitored by the discrimination police. Now that many companies have decided to pander, can Airbnb screen my potential guests for their abortion views? I don't want to rent to anyone who oppose my views on abortion..
From my perspective this is wholly the wrong approach. It's been my experience that Airbnb hosts are welcoming and the type of people that give others the benefit of the doubt. I know my friends and I do. Since March 15, however, when all the out-of-town guests that booked months in advance had to cancel, my calendar opened up and was filled with local guests. Every guest since March 15 has mislead me as to their intention. They claim to come for a small get together but since they're local, all their friends come too. They have loud raucous parties complete with strippers, DJ's, and bar-tenders. My house rules don't even allow parties. They don't realize I live next door and I try to keep things under control but it's impossible with a drunken group of over 50 people. I kept thinking it was just an anomaly but no more. Group after group, one worse than the next. The incident that ended it for me was this last group. I stayed up until 3am to try and keep things under control. The minute i went to bed, i could hear them yelling and screaming but i was too tired to do anything. Since my neighbors are doctors at the Cleveland clinic, I try to keep voices and noise low outside at night. My husband, who is a native Thai, kindly asked them to please quiet down, they started to run around the house to get to him up on the balcony. I don't know what they would have done had they got him but it wouldn't have been pretty. He called the police, but being that it was 4am and they must have had larger priorities in an underfunded city, they didn't come.
Then they gave us a bad review. Airbnb left that untrue review there and so far has done nothing about it. If this were a isolated incident, that would be different. But every local guest since March 15 has been this way. I'm afraid to leave a review often because there may be retaliation.
And now, to have Airbnb worried that the guests are being discriminated against?
When I hosted within my own home this never happened. It only happens in "whole house" listings, where the guests think no one will be there so they can trash the place.
I'm a good host. I'm a very good host. I feel betrayed that Airbnb thinks I and other good hosts that have been tolerant in the extreme are the problem.
It's the guests guys. It's the guests that are the problem. And unfortunately, they are 95% all one race. However, I know it's not race that's the problem. It's the culture. And normalizing and forcing hosts to accept egregiously disrespectful behavior is just wrong. I've already unlisted both my properties. I'm not accepting any new guests. Once the last guests that have already booked have come and gone, I'm out.
@Paul1105 Airbnb considers guests to be minor gods, to be placated, pandered to, and protected. Hosts are not-to-be trusted and need to be constantly threatened with penalties and delisting, otherwise we would all behave badly. That's certainly the message Airbnb puts out by its policies and actions.
@Sarah977 That has been my experience. For me it is so egregiously wrong that I cannot be a part of an organization like this any longer. Their moral compass is distorted by fear of radical groups that may hurt them physically, litigiously, or some other way. Those of us quietly working to provide each guest with the best possible experience, in the eyes of Airbnb, are the problem. They have allowed fear of public opinion to place blame on the innocent and reward those that threaten bad behavior. It's very disheartening. But I refuse to be a part of any corrupt organization if at all possible. That's why I have no choice but fulfill my remaining obligations to those already booked, then leave.
@Paul1105 I host in NYC, and am sorry to see you and many others in these pages on Lighthouse deciding they must leave Airbnb. I understand why, though. I too have spent many hours creating a wonderful space for travelers to come home to after a long day in the City. Every detail is carefully thought out, and i have truly loved hosting, and spending time with our guests in the back yard while watering the flowers during cocktail hour. I hate that Airbnb is making all of feel like we are the problem. Local guests are very tricky. They don't go out into the city. They stay home with the loud music or TV, invite friends over, and in one case, the local guest was a high class hooker with a john!! Airbnb is also going to be handing over our information to NYC. That begins soon. I think this whole Project Lighthouse thing is an attempt to get ahead of the racist "thing" so that they look better in the eyes of the liberal cities governments that are trying to shut them down. Throwing the hosts under the bus. I wonder if their competitors do the same thing to their hardworking hosts?