In Oregon, Airbnb Hosts Will Only See Guests Initials in Order to Curb Racism

In Oregon, Airbnb Hosts Will Only See Guests Initials in Order to Curb Racism

In Oregon, due to the discriminatory nature that some Black travelers have faced in the past from residents who have rented out their homes and apartments through the popular service, Airbnb, there is a pilot program launching in the state at the end of the month.

According to NBC News, hosts for the bed and breakfast service, Airbnb will soon be blocked from seeing the full names of guests who have signed up to rent their homes. This is being done to curb guests being turned away due to their ethnicity. This new rule will start taking place on Jan.31 and will be in place for two years.

The property hosts will only be allowed to see the initials of prospective guests until the hosts confirm the booking request. After the booking has been confirmed, then the guest’s full name will be revealed.

According to KGW8, this is being done in Oregon because of a previous lawsuit filed against Airbnb that was settled in 2019. In that lawsuit, which was filed by three Black plaintiffs, Pat Harrington, Carlotta Franklin and Ebony Price, it was alleged that the site allowed rental owners to discriminate against customers based on their race.

Airbnb has also put out a statement regarding the new policy in Oregon:

“Airbnb has no tolerance for discrimination, and we have taken a number of steps to help fight bias. Some of these initiatives include requiring all Hosts and guests to agree to the Airbnb Community Commitment, which requires everyone who uses Airbnb to treat others without discrimination and with respect. We changed the way we display profile photos to encourage more objective bookings. And to help us more effectively identify and work to eliminate disparities in how our community members experience Airbnb, we’ve also launched Project Lighthouse, a privacy-centric research methodology, in partnership with Color Of Change and guidance from civil rights and privacy experts.”