Has Airbnb Missed the Mark Entirely?

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I am a boring old white male married with three children. I have no racial prejudices: the best man at my wedding was an Indian, I lived in Brixton when it was mostly black, I have gay friends, and I spent 11 years in the Middle East. I have employed Arabs and Jews and have friends who are both Muslims and Jewish – I even have a couple of friends who are lesbians – so clearly I am not racially prejudiced or against any particular minority group.

So what is Airbnb trying to do? They have sent me an email saying that unless I agree to their anti-discriminatory, pro-gay, pro-this and that terms and conditions, my guest house listing will be removed and any bookings I have made as an individual will be cancelled. What on earth are they trying to do? They are just an app with some really annoying features, like removing useful information from emails. This unbelievable arrogance speaks of delusions of grandeur. I will not agree to their new terms and conditions; it is not their business how I discriminate. I can fully understand why a old school catholic family may not want to host gay people. Surely they have that choice; it is their house and I am sure gay people would feel uncomfortable. Similarly, would a black guy want to rent a room from someone who is a member of the UK National Front? Probably not.

We all have our preferences. Airbnb has lost my listing for sure.

Posted in Airbnb Host Stories and tagged , , , , , .

7 Comments

  1. I hope these commenters are perfectly fine with renting to the KKK, or a group of satanists, or whoever you disagree with in your world of double-standards. We are allowed, as Americans, to decide who we do and do not rent to. The “instant-book” feature prevents discrimination. Federal laws prevent discrimination. The overreach in Airbnb’s policy is nothing more than thought police, written by an ACLU lawyer. I’m done with Airbnb.

  2. I agree with you that people shouldn’t be forced to accept others into their household with whom they don’t feel comfortable. Allowing a stranger into one’s house is putting yourself in a vulnerable situation, and I agree people should be allowed to allow who they want and not allow who they want in their own homes.

  3. What this post basically says: “I am homophobic and want to discriminate against gay people, but I have been friends with a few gay people before so I’m not prejudiced”. WTF? You’re an awful person, good riddance. If you are incapable of treating people who are different from you like human beings, you shouldn’t be doing any sort of job that involves working with the general public.

  4. To whomever wrote this… Did you read what you wrote? “It is not their business how I discriminate.” Are you kidding. You are using THEIR rental platform. If you don’t like it, design your own rental platform so you can rent to people you feel all warm and fuzzy to rent to. Don’t be upset that they are taking steps to make their company welcoming to all peoples. I don’t know where you hail from, but in the USA there are laws preventing discrimination from protected classes; perhaps a “boring old white male” may never have experienced this and is not familiar with discrimination based on race, sexual orientation, religion or physical/mental disability. An “old school Catholic family” may feel uncomfortable around an individual identifying as homosexual but they are wrong to assume they KNOW the homosexual renter will be uncomfortable. Some homosexuals are Catholic, and you never know, you might learn more about him/her and grow spiritually. You do not get to assume how gays and African Americans will feel and assume that they will be uncomfortable staying with a conservative white family. Honestly, I have not given much thought to AirBnB’s new discrimination policy, but seeing how bigots (like the author of this post) believes it is OK to restrict their listing to only those they are comfortable with, makes me think AirBnB is taking the right steps and that they are now one less intolerant host. If you are uncomfortable with individuals different from yourself, you are clearly not cut out for hosting.

    For the record, I am white/female/Catholic and while I do not use AirBnB as a hosting platform anymore due to differences with AirBnB’s cancellation policies, I am not faulting AirBnB for their desire to rid their rental platform of racism, bigotry and discrimination. AirBnB has touted itself as a company built on trust and openness and I believe that taking steps to ensure tolerance is the right thing to do.

  5. Can anyone tell me how to send a gift card for airbnb, without having to vet myself? Usually (in my homeland – USA) a customer can buy something without vetting. I know why the person renting the home has to be checked…but why ME?

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