In a 32-page report, Airbnb said that it would institute a new nondiscrimination policy that goes beyond what is outlined in several anti-discrimination laws and that it would ask all users to agree to a “community commitment” starting on Nov. 1, reports The New York Times.
The commitment asks people to work with others who use the service, “regardless of race, religion, national origin, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or age.”
In addition, the company plans to experiment with reducing the prominence of user photos, which have helped signal race and gender.
Airbnb said it would also accelerate the use of instant bookings, which lets renters book places immediately without host approval.
From a libertarian perspective, Airbnb can certainly institute any policies it wants but why is it preventing its hosts from instituting any selection policies they chose?
No doubt, the company is feeling pressure from Social Justice Warriors armed with pressure from the state.
The actions are a response by Airbnb to questions about discrimination that have threatened to cloud the company’s fast growth. In December, Harvard University researchers released a working paper that concluded it was harder for guests with African-American-sounding names to rent rooms through the site....
In May, Gregory Selden, who is African-American, filed a class-action discrimination suit against the company, saying that he had been denied a place to stay because of his race.I predict the number of apartments put up for Airnb rental falls over time.