People, Travel

Airbnb Guidelines Target Racial Prejudices

Airbnb Guidelines Target Racial PrejudicesAirbnb Guidelines Target Racial Prejudices

Short-term rental company Airbnb has announced guidelines for their members to reduce racial biases that leave African Americans with fewer opportunities to enjoy the service.

The company issued a 32-page report that details the new changes.

Its lead author is Laura Murphy, a former American Civil Liberties Union attorney, who Airbnb called in for a diagnostic check of its policies.

Other civil rights heavy-hitters, including former US attorney general, Eric Holder, and the president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Wade Henderson, also contributed to the report, Citylab reported.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said in a letter: “Bias and discrimination have no place on Airbnb and we have zero tolerance for them.”

Insiders say the company has taken important first steps, but more is needed to thoroughly weed out the “widespread discrimination against African-American guests”.

“There are still additional factors at play here and policies to establish in the new system,” says Sherrell Dorsey, founder of the daily black tech newsletter ThePLUG, who has written about Airbnb alternatives for African Americans.

Part of the impetus for this new initiative may be that Airbnb is losing customers to new home-sharing services like Innclusive, Noirbnb and Cozy Oasis, which cater directly to people of color for short-term rental services.

Chesky admits in his letter that his company “has been slow on this issue” of rental discrimination, but some African Americans are not waiting around for Airbnb to figure it out.