Airbnb Review System Heavily Censored

My gripe is with Airbnb itself. My family (four adults + one child) booked a house in Aptos, California for seven days. It wasn’t cheap, but that is not the problem. The property didn’t live up to expectations and our review reflected the shortcomings we found. We also praised the good aspects of the property as we are trying to give a balanced picture for future guests.

Some of our more negative comments included the incident on our second night when police were called to the house opposite ours and shouts of “I have a gun” were heard – not very neighbourly. Other review comments related to the kitchen cleaning; we had to wash nearly every utensil in the kitchen before use, despite being charged a very hefty cleaning charge.

The problem is that the review was heavily censored and probably 2/3rds of the review was missing. Contacting Airbnb customer service was the usual trail of BS and deadends with the only contact being someone who couldn’t find my review. What kind of data storage do they have? The last I heard they were “closing this ticket, have a nice day.”

This attitude reeks of modern day big business i.e., Microsoft, Facebook, et al becoming too self important and losing track of the fundamentals. Would like to hear if other Airbnbers have had similar censorship issues?

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


  1. YES, I rented a home recently and my review of the property was significantly edited to
    remove anything constructive, but possibly construed as negative by prospective renters.
    My evaluation was very positive overall about not only the property, but the host as well.
    However, the few constructive comments about needing more glassware and flatware in the
    kitchen along with the air conditioning system that was woefully inadequate for the size of
    the home were deleted. The remaining review incorporated only the positive comments and
    there were many, however this does not give prospective renters the complete picture and is a very unethical practice. Additionally, if the review is deleted before the homeowner has a chance to see it, it does not give the homeowner an opportunity to improve the situation in
    the home.
    Needless to say, I was very disappointed in this practice.

  2. My negative review of an AirBnB stay was also deleted from the AirBnB page. The very fact that you had to contact the host to clean the utensils or clean them yourself is itself worthy of note, and shouldn’t be deleted. Now I know I can’t trust the rosy picture portrayed for most (close to all) AirBnB rentals.

  3. Henry, your message you tried to leave was ridiculous and rude. From what you described, it appears that you never tried to talk to your host and give them a chance to resolve any of your issues. This means you were being a bad guest and not communicating. Hopefully they also gave you a poor review in theirs as well. But they probably didn’t because they probably tried to give you the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps you didn’t mean it this way, but what you wrote here reads out that your real issue has nothing to do with “warning” others about an incident that most likely was completely random and won’t happen again, but that you didn’t get to act high and mighty by leaving a bad review. Honestly, you shouldn’t use Airbnb, what you wrote here says that you are a terrible guest. You’re probably not going to enjoy most of your Airbnb experiences, and no host will enjoy having to deal with you – so its a lose/lose situation. You should use hotels, this would be much better suited. for you. Not trying to be rude here, its really not a big deal – Airbnb is not well suited for everybody. You’re just one of those people that all.

  4. Yes Airbnb will edit or delete reviews that violate their terms of service.

    A couple of things: did you let the host know you found kitchen items that needed cleaning to give them a chance to correct the situation?

    I’ve had guests mixup putting dirty with clean dishes in the dishwasher then putting all back in the cabinet. During a quick turnover, checking the cabinets for dirty dishes is not routine.

    Always give a host an opportunity to address your concerns. If they don’t then a bad review is warranted. If they do, it is fair to state there was a problem that the host promptly addressed.

    Hosts are not responsible for their neighbors. I lived in a very nice neighborhood with expensive houses. Apparently one neighbor funded his nice lifestyle selling drugs. Police raid occurred. It was not an everyday event.

    My beach condo is in a neighborhood that is a blend of short term rentals, owner residents, and long term rentals. Two pretty young women rented a condo long term. They had a constant stream of male visitors. Gossip started. For people to assume these girls were prostitutes was wrong. How would an Airbnb guest correctly “warn” future guests about something they don’t know? Gossip is not knowledge.

  5. Agree with previous comment. Comments about your Airbnb visit may have violated Airbnb’s policy. Have you read that?

    • Hi Shellg
      Yes I have closely read the review policy and I don’t believe I was anywhere near violation of its terms, which if the whole review had been published in its entirety you would probably agree.
      But the point I am trying to make is the fact that my review was heavily censored by AirBnB. I don’t really care that the host didn’t like it. I didn’t write it for them!
      It’s a little bit like the Mueller report into President Trump, heavily redacted so that you can’t get a conclusive ending and everybody is left in the dark.
      If you can’t be honest…….WTF?

      • Ive stayed at countless Airbnb’s around the world with mostly positive results. Had one terrible experience with a bad review that was also censored. I’m with you Airbnb definitely censores poor reviews, they are financially motivated to do so based off their business model.

  6. agreed. at one time the host behaved horribly in a place that was poorly represented, and airbnb refunded me the 2nd night so I could go elsewhere and gave me a 50 euro credit for the experience I had. I wanted to put this on the review but airbnb said mentioning refunds or any compensation was not allowed. the host wrote how airbnb had given such a great review to her place. pft.

  7. Hi Maryam
    I never said I blamed the host for the neighbourhood incident. I am sure that if you were reading reviews prior to booking a property ,you might be interested in the vibe of the surrounding area! What would you think if you arrived at a house and found there was a brothel at the end of the street, or a crack house 2 doors down.
    Sure incidents occur in every city, town and street, but, wouldn’t you like to have a heads up before committing your self. Even if it only makes you consider the property a little more closely, or research the area more, an honestly and frank review is worth it’s weight in gold and piece of mind.
    Reviews should be written for the benefit of future guests, not to protect “super host” ratings.

  8. And how is your host responsible for any incidents happening at the neighbors or neighborhood that you have to put that as a negative comment for your host ???

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