Saturday, January 22, 2022

Airbnb to Tackle Discrimination in Oregon by Hiding Guests’ Names

*Airbnb seems to have a discrimination issue when it comes to guests bookings specifically in Oregon. So the company has announced it will hide guests’ names to combat the problem in the state. 

As reported by Insider, the new policy follows a 2019 settlement where three Black women sued Athe company, claiming the platform enabled hosts to discriminate based on race. When the new experimental policy goes into effect by January 31, the names of guests will be fully revealed only when hosts confirm the booking.

READ MORE: ‘Which MONKEY is Going to Stay on the Couch?,’ Asks Racist Airbnb Host to Black Guests

Here’s more from the outlet: 

It represents Airbnb’s latest efforts to fight racial bias on the platform. In 2018, which was after the lawsuit but before the settlement, it changed its policies so that profile photos are not required to use the peer-to-peer accommodation site. Hosts, however, can mandate photos for their properties but only see them after a booking is confirmed.

The company vowed to strengthen its zero-tolerance policy in 2016 after a Harvard Business Review study found that guests with names that sounded African-American were around 16% less likely to be accepted than identical guests with white-sounding names.

“This update is consistent with the voluntary settlement agreement we reached in 2019 with individuals in Oregon who raised concerns regarding the way guests’ names are displayed when they seek to book a listing. As part of our ongoing work, we will take any learnings from this process and use them to inform future efforts to fight bias,” Airbnb wrote in a statement on its website.

In 2020, Airbnb teamed with racial justice organization Color Of Change and launched Project Lighthouse, a research initiative focused on uncovering discrimination on the platform.

“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,” Airbnb said in a statement.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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