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Racism on Airbnb inspires new sites Innclusive and Noirbnb
Technology
Published in 22-7-2016
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NEW YORK (AP) Accusations that Airbnb has been ignoring complaints of racism have led several black entrepreneurs to create two new vacation rental websites where they say racism will not be tolerated. Another case got attention in June when Airbnb removed a host in North Carolina who purportedly used a racial slur to reject a booking by a black woman. Airbnb has a longstanding policy prohibiting discrimination, but back in January, a study by researchers from the Harvard Business School found that African-American guests were less likely to be approved for Airbnb bookings than white guests. A review of company practices is underway, headed by Laura Murphy, former head of the American Civil Liberties Union's legislative office. Murphy said the company's findings and new policies will be made public around Labor Day, and that they will focus on becoming more responsive to complaints, implementing anti-bias training and preventing discrimination in bookings. Asked why profile photos are required when so many people say they're being rejected based on their race, Airbnb spokeswoman Courtney O'Donnell said the photos "have been an important tool to help connect hosts and guests," as well as a security feature so users can recognize each other at check-in. Among Innclusive.com's innovations is a simple tech tool that prevents hosts from seeing pictures of guests until after the booking has been approved. Grant says they pitched a proposal to Airbnb for a program to ensure that black travelers "had people in the company who cared about what they were doing," but nothing came of it.
Reference: www.chron.com