Airbnb is a Bigot-Friendly Platform

Published at 17:59 on 16 July 2018

Why? It requires people to register using their real names, and encourages them to post their photo in their profile. I doubt they intended it do be bigot-friendly, but intent matters little: it is bigot-friendly.

More than likely Airbnb’s awful design is the result of the privileged, affluent, mostly white “tech bro” culture: Airbnb’s designers weren’t even aware of the bigotry problem when they designed the platform. And to the extent they are aware, they seem to be in denial about how serious the problem is:

“The photos are on the platform for a reason,” King said. “It really does help to aid in the trust between the guest and the host . . . You want to make sure that the guest who shows up at your door is the person you’ve been communicating with.”

The problem is so common and pervasive that there’s even a phrase for it: “Airbnb while Black.”

Thankfully, there seem to be better alternatives such as, a site started by a Black guy after he ran into discrimination on Airbnb.


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