Not all Airbnb users are treated equally, it seems.
NPR hosted a Twitter chat on Friday, building on the hashtag created by Quirtina Crittenden, #AirbnbWhileBlack, to hear the challenges that black Airbnb renters have faced while using the website. The response was resounding. Black Twitter aired its frustrations with the service and many people reported having difficulties when trying to book places to stay.
The tweets follow a report by Harvard researchers — which analyzed listings in Los Angeles, Dallas, St. Louis, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. — and found that fictional guests “with names like Lakisha or Rasheed were roughly 16 percent less likely to be accepted than identical guests with names like Brent or Kristen.”
David King, Airbnb’s head of diversity and belonging, responded to the allegations of discrimination in an email to Mashable.
“We recognize that bias and discrimination present significant challenges and we are taking steps to address them,” he said.