Airbnb hides guest first names in Oregon to stop discrimination

Image of the article titled Airbnb will hide first names of guests in Oregon until anti-discrimination reservations are confirmed

Photo: Joel Saget/AFP (Getty Images)

Airbnb is taking steps to address discrimination from hosts on its platform with a new update for guests residing in Oregon. Unfortunately, IIt seems that people in other countries and around the world will have to keep fighting to be treated fairly on the podium.

Starting January 31, only hosts will see The initials of the guests’ first names Until the booking request was confirmed, Airbnb announced in a December news ad it spotted the edge. after host Confirms When booking, the full name of the guest will appear. Change in how names displaced At least it will be there Two years.

While we’ve made progress, we still have a lot to do and continue to work with our hosts and guests and with civil rights leaders to make our community more inclusive,” Airbnb . said.

In its announcement, the company said that the update complies with the voluntary settlement agreement it reached with individuals in Oregon in 2019.Which has raised concerns about the way guests’ names are displayed when they seek to book a menu.”

according to OregonianIn 2017, Portland resident Patricia Harrington sued Airbnb. She claimed that because Airbnb requires guests to reveal their full names and include a photo, Review before accepting the reservation, The company was allowing hosts to discriminate against black guests. this is It is a violation of Oregon’s public residence laws, she claimed.

Airbnb settled the lawsuit, which involved two other black women in Oregon, in 2019. By then, Harrington was dead.

The lawsuit’s allegations were not false. The guests were black sound the alarm About discrimination on the platform for years and even creating a hashtag: #AirbnbWhileBlack. In 2016, a Study Harvard Business School Until I found that requests from Guests with African American names were approximately 16% less likely to be accepted by hosts than matched guests. Guests with distinctive white names.

In the same year, Airbnb Agreement carried out To promote fair treatment of its users, which states that all users agree to treat everyone in the platform community “with respect and without judgment or bias.” After the agreement, the company began to hide Guests profile pictures, which is now only disclosed after booking confirmation. In 2020, Airbnb told Gizmodo that it had done so 1.4 million people banned From its platform to refuse to accept non-discrimination an agreement.

DrIt is the incrimination on the platform not limited To blacks, though. Asians, transgender people, North Africans, Uyghurs, and Tibetans have been turned away by hosts in the United States and abroad.

Gizmodo reached out to Airbnb on Saturday to ask why this change applies only to Oregonians. Given what we know, it looks like it could definitely be useful in other areas as well. An Airbnb spokesperson cited the 2019 lawsuit settlement, which we described above.

“As the impact of this change is unknown, implementation will be limited,” Airbnb spokeswoman Liz Diebold Fusco said in an email. “We will assess the impact of this change to understand whether there are lessons from this work that can inform future anti-bias efforts.”

Although I may be salty above – the world is tired, you know – this is a positive move from Airbnb. The company may not move as quickly as we would like in the fight against discrimination, but dDiscrimination is a difficult issue, and bringing about effective change takes time. The important thing is to keep working and get to the point where you fight discrimination Proactively, not just because you sued.

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