Airbnb's New York data report—ostensibly an anonymized listing of all its hosts in the city—was intended to make the company look honest and to make its hosts look like normal, everyday homeowners. This effort seems to have fallen apart as journalists scrutinize what turns out to be a manicured view of its business.
Matt Buchanan writes that the most revealing thing about the 'purge' of bad listings is the fact it let the Airbnb landlords with multiple NYC properties stay on the service, albeit with less listings:
Perhaps most clearly indicative of Airbnb’s intentions, though—I mean, beyond its longstanding refusal to implement any real measures to curb illegal listings or to provide the city with what it needs to do so—is that “most hosts affected by the purge were left with some ‘inventory’ on the Airbnb site, indicating that Airbnb did not kick the ‘worst actors’ off the platform.” On average, “most hosts were left with 0.8 Entire Home listings, although the three hosts with the most Entire home listings (with 10, 11 and 12 Entire Homes at November 1, 2015) lost all of their Entire home listings by November 20, 2015.”
Kristie Wolfe loved The Hobbit ever since seeing the cartoon as a child, so she decided to build a hobbit house in Washington State. This fun video shows the whole process, and it’s even listed on Airbnb.
The March 29 edition of Airbnb’s terms of service requires that people who rent out their homes acknowledge that despite the company’s widely advertised Host Protection Insurance program, “you understand and agree that Airbnb does not act as an insurer.”
Harvard Business School’s Benjamin Edelman, Michael Luca, and Dan Svirsky created 20 identical Airbnb profiles, ten of which had names meant to sound African-American, ten of which were meant to sound white and undertook thousands of attempted Airbnb bookings in Baltimore, Dallas, LA, St Louis and DC. They found that black-seeming Airbnb users were 16% […]
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