Is Airbnb racist?

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Status
Not open for further replies.
Apr 6, 2017
23
12
3
59
#1
I have been trying to get an answer from Airbnb. As you may be aware, Airbnb is no longer allowing rentals in the West bank in the settlements. Are they excluding all rentals in the settlement areas, or are they only excluding Jewish rentals, which would be racist? (ie are they using what the first or last name sounds like to determine who can post rentals?)
 

Carrie Livingston

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Jan 6, 2015
1,120
1,122
113
45
St Louis
#2
Airbnb has their press release here. They are excluding all rentals.

BY AIRBNB / NOVEMBER 19 2018

HOMES, NEWS

Listings in Disputed Regions
Facebook share
Twitter share

There are conflicting views regarding whether companies should be doing business in the occupied territories that are the subject of historical disputes between Israelis and Palestinians.
US law permits companies like Airbnb to engage in business in these territories. At the same time, many in the global community have stated that companies should not do business here because they believe companies should not profit on lands where people have been displaced. Others believe that companies should not withdraw business operations from these areas.
For us, the question centers on the approximately 200 Airbnb listings in Israeli settlements in the West Bank and whether they should be available for rent on our platform. We are most certainly not the experts when it comes to the historical disputes in this region. Our team has wrestled with this issue and we have struggled to come up with the right approach.
In the past, we made clear that we would operate in this area as allowed by law. We did this because we believe that people-to-people travel has considerable value and we want to help bring people together in as many places as possible around the world. We also explained that going forward we would ask questions, listen to experts, seek out our community for their thoughts, and continue to learn.
Since then, we spent considerable time speaking to various experts — including those who have criticized our previous approach — about this matter. As a global platform operating in 191 countries and regions and more than 81,000 cities, we must consider the impact we have and act responsibly. Accordingly, we have developed a framework for evaluating how we should treat listings in occupied territories. When evaluating these types of situations, we will:
  1. Recognize that each situation is unique and requires a case-by-case approach.
  2. Consult with a range of experts and our community of stakeholders.
  3. Assess any potential safety risks for our hosts and guests.
  4. Evaluate whether the existence of listings is contributing to existing human suffering.
  5. Determine whether the existence of listings in the occupied territory has a direct connection to the larger dispute in the region.
When we applied our decision-making framework, we concluded that we should remove listings in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank that are at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.
We know that people will disagree with this decision and appreciate their perspective. This is a controversial issue. There are many strong views as it relates to lands that have been the subject of historic and intense disputes between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank. Airbnb has deep respect for those views. Our hope is that someday sooner rather than later, a framework is put in place where the entire global community is aligned so there will be a resolution to this historic conflict and a clear path forward for everybody to follow. As of today, this is an aspirational hope. People of goodwill have been seeking this goal for decades but we continue to hope for a durable, lasting peace.
 
Apr 6, 2017
23
12
3
59
#3
I went online and looked at the West Bank--I still see rentals...

I think Airbnb has the right to not do rentals in areas they dont want to do business in--but the key question is are they allowing rentals from people with arabic sounding names--and removing jewish sounding named rentals?. Or did they get a settlement map and try to microtarget? I dont want to get into the politics of the whole west bank and the settlements etc--that isnt the issue--instead is did Airbnb "step into" a racist policy on rentals? Should a travel company engage in racist practices? (it wasnt that long ago in the USA that there was widespread discrimination in the travel industry matching society at large.)

And how about the old city part of Jerusalem--are they going to forbid rentals there as its contested also? And again--will they only target jewish people/rentals in the Jewish quarter or also remove the arabic sounding listings? And how about the armenian quarter?
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,308
1,275
113
Maui Hawaii
#4
I went online and looked at the West Bank--I still see rentals...

I think Airbnb has the right to not do rentals in areas they dont want to do business in--but the key question is are they allowing rentals from people with arabic sounding names--and removing jewish sounding named rentals?. Or did they get a settlement map and try to microtarget? I dont want to get into the politics of the whole west bank and the settlements etc--that isnt the issue--instead is did Airbnb "step into" a racist policy on rentals? Should a travel company engage in racist practices? (it wasnt that long ago in the USA that there was widespread discrimination in the travel industry matching society at large.)

And how about the old city part of Jerusalem--are they going to forbid rentals there as its contested also? And again--will they only target jewish people/rentals in the Jewish quarter or also remove the arabic sounding listings? And how about the armenian quarter?
The policy is dated yesterday. Things do not happen instantly.
 
Apr 6, 2017
23
12
3
59
#5
Yes--I looked further and it looks like they are saying Monday. So on Monday we can see if they are racists or not. By the way--are they also removing listings from Crimea, Tibet, etc?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,672
15,290
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#6
Why don’t you use our company contacts and go up the executive chain? We aren’t here to make or break policy. We are here to tell you how to resolve an issue yourself. Their policy has been posted, there is nothing else we can do about it.

Here are our company contacts to Airbnb.

https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/airbnb/

Since we can’t help you any further with their policy, I’m going to close this to further comments.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.