Airbnb Wants to Prevent Discrimination in Booking System & Here’s How

Airbnb Wants to Prevent Racial Bias in Its Booking System & Here’s How

Hopefully, this solves previous complaints about Airbnb.

Have you ever experienced racial discrimination when booking an Airbnb? This may have come in the form of rejection or cancellation by the host for an unbelievable reason.

Well in the state of Oregon, Airbnb will be conducting a test program wherein the complete names of potential guests will be hidden to prevent racial discrimination. According to Airbnb, they will be replacing guest names with initials for this trial, and hosts will only be able to see their guests’ full names after the booking is confirmed. 

Also read: LOOK: This Cool Sightseeing Train in Japan Doubles as a Luxury Hotel!

This Airbnb policy will officially begin on 31 Jan 2022 and will run for at least two years. Aside from temporarily concealing the full name of the guests or booker, Airbnb will also change how profile photos are displayed. 

“We changed the way we display profile photos to encourage more objective bookings. And to help us more effectively identify and work to eliminate disparities in how our community members experience Airbnb, we’ve also launched Project Lighthouse, a privacy-centric research methodology, in partnership with Color Of Change and guidance from civil rights and privacy experts,” Airbnb shared in its official website.

Image credit: Ralph (Ravi) Kayden

This Airbnb policy to prevent racial discrimination comes after people in Oregon had raised concerns on how guests names are automatically displayed even when people are just looking at listings. A voluntary settlement agreement was reached in 2019 and this policy is part of the solutions going forward. 

“While we have made progress, we have much more to do and continue working with our Hosts and guests, and with civil rights leaders to make our community more inclusive,” concluded Airbnb. 

Also read: 10 Airbnb Pros and Cons You Need to Know for Your Future Vacations

Which other rental services do you think need policies like this to safeguard fair and equal opportunities for potential guests? Let us know your thoughts on our Facebook page!

Featured image credit: Andrea Davis | Unsplash

About Author

Therese Sta. Maria
Therese Sta. Maria

Therese's close friends know that if they haven’t seen her around recently, then she’s probably having an adventure with her luggage and camera in hand. Though she loves staying at home and spending lazy afternoons with friends, there are times when she has to be "away from home to feel at home," — that’s when she’s bitten by the travel bug. See her travels on Instagram @reesstamaria.


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