Unrepresentative guest profile photographs

Bangor, United Kingdom
Level 10


I have very much enjoyed hosting for over 4 years now, and am an airbnb superhost. But I am very concerned about the increasing number of airbnb guests who post misleading or deliberately unrepresentative pictures on their profiles. 

If we are to welcome guests into our home then in my view it is very important that guets provide a clear, recognisable and representative picture of themselves.  It is an insult to potential hosts when a guest posts a profile picture of a dog, or a distant group of people, or a picture of a child or even a penguin in sunglasses. The airbnb help section says that all pictures are checked against the government held ID pictures of the traveller as part of verification, but evidently this is not happening. If there was ever a legal dispute as a result of an incident with a guest then a judge could dismiss the hosts case if it was seen that they had allowed a guest into their house despite a misleading or unrepresentative picture.

As a host, I expect airbnb to properly verify the image presented as identification of all members.  We should also have the guaranteed legal right to refuse accommodation to any guest who arrives and does not appear as depicted in their profile picture, and without forfeit of any booking fees paid.

I welcome debate on this very important issue.



2 Replies

Re: Unrepresentative guest profile photographs

Atascosa, TX
Level 10

@John0 About a month ago I learn something new. A guest had a dog as their profile picture, but when you put the mouse over the picture I was able to click to another profile picture that was the one used as a selfie for ID verification. It wasn't the one showing as the main profile picture though. When I questioned the woman about it, she said she couldn't fine a way to put the selfie as the first picture seen. So I now always double check to make sure if there is actually more than one photo on the profile there is not always another, but a few times there was. One selfie hidden I found made me not book him. 

Re: Unrepresentative guest profile photographs

Level 2

John I agree. We've had sunsets and bells and everything except faces. Last year a young man asked to stay and he was new so there were no reviews and no pictures. I hesitated to allow the booking but then I told him I needed a picture because it was a secure complex. He sent one and he looked ok and turned out to be a good guest but it could well have been otherwise if my gut had beed wrong. There needs to be more control from airbnb.  I've also noticed there isn't always a government issued ID.

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