Discrimination and Belonging

Level 10
Como, CO

Discrimination and Belonging

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.

Open Doors

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.

Instant Book

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.

Anti-bias training

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.

Brian Chesky

CEO, Co-founder

49 Replies 49
Level 3
Winter Haven, FL

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..this comet concerns me the mosy, as our listing is for someone to share our home, sanctuary with... how can I not have a say in who we choose to share our home with?!? .. will be interesting in watching this unfold..
Level 3
Chicago, IL

I understand the predictment Airbnb is in...it is the same one America is in at this time.  But having values, commitment and love for what you do is also important.  So we thought.  You must be responsible and have a job and be able to be respectful to go to work or rent my home.  We are Airbnb "Superhosts"  because we care and commit to every guest each time we feel will be a good fit for our property and location. We have hosted many from all walks of life...most good...but yes...1 -2 was awful.   UNTIL Airbnb holds their "guests" to the same standards we must meet as hosts...NO THANKS to your Instabook requirements.  How many of the money holders at Airbnb have rental properties they manage?  WE are your community first and foremost.  We are the ambassadors of your company.  Perhaps you should rethink the type of client you would like us to host no matter what???!  Where is the thoughtful in this decision process?

-Super hosts


How about we be the leaders in what citizenship means?

How will they increase the availability of InstantBook when it is, should be, a setting controlled by the Host?


Perhaps they'll offer some sort of incentive to switching to Instant Book.  

Level 10
Daylesford, Australia

Or rank non-IB last?

I just completed my 4th summer with Airbnb, and am a Super Host, if I am forced to do Instant Book I will leave the community. We have had lovely experiences hosting folks of many races, religions and nationalities. Just this summer we had a Mennonite gal straddling her kayak in a long dress.  We prefer to start building a relationship from the onset, not just to be a faceless hotelier. Please Airbnb recognize the rights of your hosts to build relationships, not force them upon us!

I million hosts probably equates to say 2 million listings, I am not sure what the rolling total of listings is  but from the numbers on the web seems most Hosts would have be on InstantBook.


@David126, if you consider that a lot of hosts have over 50 listings each I think we are talking about everybody.

I think Airbnb needs to remember that not all homes are suitable for everyone. There is a wide range of unique accommodations: treehouses, boats, etc.... and saftey and physical limitations are real things. 


If you make this all instant book, I'll pull all three of my boats and move them to hipcamp. 



Great great points.

Hopefully they will take serious feedback from Super hosts to find out what it would take to make instant booking acceptable. Currently there are far too few host controls.

Even so I'm not sure I will ever use Instant Book. (Home sharing is all about relationships and conversation!)

Masking guest names and photos is a much better solution if discrimination is the issue!

If they mask the photo, then how do I know that the person at my doorstep is the one who I've been communicating with? If I had a guest show up that didn't look like the photo they posted on their profile, I'd assume that they used someone else's profile and consider that a big old red flag! 

Level 10
Lincoln, United Kingdom

Margo that is a very good point.  Airbnb do not allow third party bookings but who is to know if a host cannot see a photo of the prospective guest?

I had a problem once where someone who was REMOVED from the website for security reasons and reservation canceled showed up at my home under someone else's account (her boyfriend/husband). The ONLY way I caught it was her photo. 

Masking the face and the name of a person.  ??  Then why even talk to them just book.   I live in hawaii and people from all over the world come.  Our homes are small.  You will be living closely with someone.  I want to know who I am booking.  I don't need their name but I want to see something of what they look like.   This is not discrimination.  If you see a history of the host you would get the idea if they discriminate or not.   I want to sleep and feel safe.