Dear Airbnb community,
At the heart of our mission is the idea that people are fundamentally good and every community is a place where you can belong. We don’t say this because it sounds nice. It’s the goal that everyone at Airbnb works towards every day – because we’ve all seen how when we live together, we better understand each other.
Discrimination is the opposite of belonging, and its existence on our platform jeopardizes this core mission. Bias and discrimination have no place on Airbnb, and we have zero tolerance for them. Unfortunately, we have been slow to address these problems, and for this I am sorry. I take responsibility for any pain or frustration this has caused members of our community. We will not only make this right; we will work to set an example that other companies can follow.
In June, we asked Laura Murphy, the former head of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington D.C. Legislative Office, to review every aspect of the Airbnb platform, and to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to fight bias and discrimination. Thanks to Laura’s leadership, today we’re releasing a report that outlines the results of that process. You can read the full report here, but I’d like to highlight four changes that will impact the way our platform works:
Airbnb Community Commitment
Beginning November 1, everyone who uses Airbnb must agree to a stronger, more detailed nondiscrimination policy. We aren’t just asking you to check a box associated with a long legal document. We’re asking everyone to agree to something we’re calling the Airbnb Community Commitment, which says:
We believe that no matter who you are, where you are from, or where you travel, you should be able to belong in the Airbnb community. By joining this community, you commit to treat all fellow members of this community, regardless of race, religion, national origin, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or age, with respect, and without judgment or bias.
We’ll be implementing a new policy called Open Doors. StartingOctober 1st, if a Guest anywhere in the world feels like they have been discriminated against in violation of our policy – in trying to book a listing, having a booking canceled, or in any other interaction with a host – we will find that Guest a similar place to stay if one is available on Airbnb, or if not, we will find them an alternative accommodation elsewhere. This program will also apply retroactively to any Guest who reported discrimination prior to today. All of these Guests will be offered booking assistance for their next trip.
We’ll increase the availability of Instant Book, which allows our hosts to offer their homes to be booked immediately without their prior approval of a specific guest. Instant Book makes booking easier for everyone, and our goal is to have 1 million listings bookable via Instant Book byJanuary 1st, 2017.
We are working with experts on bias, including Dr. Robert Livingston of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Dr. Peter Glick of Lawrence University, to make anti-bias training available to our community, and will be publicly acknowledging those who complete it.
These steps are just the beginning, not the end, of our efforts to combat bias and discrimination.
While we as a company have been slow on this issue, I am now asking you the community to help us lead the way forward. Every time you make someone else feel like they belong, that person feels accepted and safe to be themselves. While this may sound like a small act of kindness, we are a community of millions of people strong. Imagine what we can do together.
No masking guest's names and info is a very very bad idea! It is all about trust and if the guest wants to be trusted they need to feel comfortable with sharing themselves and their information....or they can go to a hotel!
I have stated many times on this subject - we will never use Instant Book, Smart Pricing or Pricing Tips. This is our home and we will decide who shares it with us. No ifs, no buts. I am a Super Host with 75 excellent reviews. We must be doing something right but if it is not good enough for airbnb then we will have no alternative but to stop hosting.
I have read over the current email concerning discrimination. As much as we want to battle discrimination, we must consider not to forget about host safety, my home my personal space and belongings are all being opened up to a complete stranger. I completely object to no profile photos of a potential guest. I would actually prefer better photos with more detail. Now your saying you will completely take this away. I have accepted all types of people to my home and I have also denied people of all types I don't feel that is discrimination. Just look at a Host's history. The end result is getting a feel for the person that will be living side by side with you. If you take that away what are you saying. Getting a feel for the guest is not my right, My safety is not important? I am not a hotel. If you take away profile photos etc, you will lose some host that now feel their safety is at risk nor important.
But, I do believe For someone who is renting an entire home. I agree just let them book. But for someone to rent a room in their house. No, I don't discriminate for race, I only pick those that I feel safe as well as feel a mutual fit. Does anyone feel this.
I have finished reading it.
Seems like all Hosts will be required to undertake training.
They seem to have consulted lots of different people, the obvious group not contacted were Hosts.
Hmmm - and where is the logic in not consulting with hosts: the ONLY reason Airbnb is successful is because of hosts! Without hosts THERE WOULD BE NO AIRBNB! What am I missing here????
They seem to have you by the balls Mr. CEO of Airbnb because mandating training to teach us how to protect ourselves and our property is simply assanine! With all due respect - we hosts are not making enough money to take time out of our busy schedules to go to training! A brilliant person (one NOT controlled by the 'powers that be') would recognize that the hosts are NOT the ones to screw with here!!! The wiser approach is to tell the guests to go to a hotel!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I rent an entire home to some degree. It's two family and I live alone in the ground floor apartment. No instant book for me! They may not live with me but share most of my yard and could easily access my personal apartment . Plus they are around my property all day, and some times my young grandsons are here. Sorry I believe I gave the right to say who has access to not only my home but to me!
The problem is dicrimation, but instant booking is not a solution that leaves in home host comfortable. In my listings I have both instant book and some that require approval. In fact instanst book could cause some potentially serious calendar conflicts, as part of may calender is managed manually. But anyway, even though I have booked everyone that has requested it, instant book still throws me for a loop. It's as if the guest is invading your house. But these have also been my worst guest. I think the issue is that guest that instant book see our homes as a hotel and not a private space, so no relationship is established prior. The relationship is the heart of hosting to me.
Blind bookings with images and names withheld would be good. They can be revealed after booking just like phone numbers are. Also by allowing a one or two day buffer to instant book, for host who request it, would also allow host to begin a relationship with their guest prior to arrival.
Host should also know that guest meet a set of critera, for the host comfort and safety. Things such as full background checks, reviews, and real verifications not merely a vailid email address, would also help.
If had guest tell me that they treat my place better then they would a hotel room, because of the relationship that is created between host and guest. If you take this away many guest may view us as impersonal hotel staff.
There re many inherant contradictions in the way ABB sell themselves and how they actually operate,
Many of them come up directly or indirectly in posts on this forum.
The practical solution is to fudge, and this is sort of a fudge, because there can be no clear solution unless they abandon their stated ethos and just become a booking site, of which there are many.
Thanks for posting this!! I also heard it on NPR this afternoon, all these pro-active things Airbnb will install to deal with discrimination...I am growing more suspicious by the minute:
Airbnb grew way too fast from facilitating people who were looking for a cheap crash pad to evolving into this 5 star lodging experience, just at a cheaper price than hotels or resorts. They need us hosts to be the mules...so hosts get scrutinized, penalized, more rules/restrictions by the minute to deal with, etc... - and it is all about courting and pleasing the guests! they are the ones to bring in the money, so they have to be catered to.....
I am alarmed to now hear things, all under the politically correct umbrella of fighting discrimination, like " there will be an open door policy at Airbnb as of 10/1 this year", and then, as of 11/1 this year|: "no matter who you are, you should be able to belong to the Airbnb community". That is downright scary!! So us hosts, letting people into our private homes, will have less and less to say about who we host, sooner than later we all will be forced to accept the instant booking, Airbnb expressed it in such flowery terms as, " the instant booking allows hosts to offer their place without prior approval". Excuse me, is this " allow me" - or force me??
Yes, there are some hosts on Airbnb who get side tracked by totally unimportant, minor things they should just handle instead of crying wolf, but the essence is : Airbnb needs us hosts! We should be treated with the same deference and respect guests enjoy.
Airbnb is well on its way to become the booking.com for private places, by forcing us hosts to act like hotel/motels, which clearly, we are not! That is the elementary difference that needs to be respected and protected.
As hosts we should give up being so proud of being super hosts, or participating in that stupid race for 5 star reviews, it's all a gimmick to keep us in line!
I am not a happy camper observing these latest developments.
Also, you will not be able to tick a box for guests with previous reviews, because so many guests are first timers and have no reviews. So that one is out the window as well.
On the plus side, the host pictures and badges have actually returned in Search, I have been going on about it for a while and guessed they were missing as part of the discrimination changes. At least temporarily, we are visible again.
Is anyone from Airbnb actually following the threads on this forum? If not, then they should be. Collectively our voices are shouting! Many of us are not happy bunnies and feel we are being ignored and trampled underfoot.
I couldn't agree more! Without us hosts they have NOTHING! Yet they are totally disrespecting us for the politically correct alternative of 'kissing up'.... thanks for your message!