While Airbnb has always been interested in making sure its platform is safe and enjoyable for all its users, this ban specifically targets those who may pose a safety risk. By banning these individuals, Airbnb hopes to keep the platform safe for everyone else.
Some people who have been removed from Airbnb for safety reasons may also see their accounts restricted if they are likely to travel with that person. This is a necessary safety precaution taken by the short-term rental company.
The incident highlighted the stark differences between how Airbnb and other hospitality platforms operate. While other platforms Umbalo or Hospitality Club require users to disclose any criminal history before making reservations, Airbnb bans those who are closely associated with those with a history of criminal activity. This creates an uneven playing field for those who attempt to use these services for personal gain, and it stifles the ability of individuals with legal troubles to find affordable housing.
Airbnb says that it is banning anyone who is associated with prohibited users from using the platform. This includes any type of safety-related issue, not specifically background check removals. This decision is in line with Airbnb’s safety policies, which focus on ensuring that everyone who uses their platform is safe and respectful.
Critics are saying that the tech company is going a bit too far by issuing bans by association instead of strictly enforcing its rule against broken tail lights and unleashed dogs. The policy is ambiguous enough that it could easily be abused, and some users feel like they’re being unfairly targeted. Others worry that this new policy will scare away people who might be interested in using the platform.
Airbnb has been prioritizing safety over the past few years in hopes of keeping both hosts and users safe. The company announced a global ban on all parties and events at its listing in 2020 after several people were killed at rentals arranged through its platform. However, this ban was made permanent last year with the announcement that Airbnb would also be working to create a safer community by prioritizing safety features for users. These features include enhanced background checks for hosts, improved communication between Airbnb and hosts, as well as better information sharing from other online platforms about potentially dangerous listings.
The Airbnb anti-party tech is already being used to identify potential rule-breakers on the platform. Users with a history of reviews, who have been on the site for a long time, and who are travelling close to the listing are all at risk of being flagged as possible troublemakers. The aim is to prevent bookings from turning into unauthorized parties, but it will be interesting to see how this technology evolves in the future.