BP#2 Airbnb Adopts Rules to Fight Discrimination by Its Hosts

airbnbAirbnb is considered one of the best/leading traveling agencies up to date.  The company was created 8 years ago, and today is valued at $25 billion. Though the company is succeeding in the traveling industry, ranked at the top, the company also faces adversity. Most recently, the company Airbnb has been under accusations of racism/discrimination. “For much of this year, Airbnb has been under fire over the ease with which its hosts can reject potential renters based on race, age, gender or other factors.” The accusations originated from Harvard University, where they concluded it was harder for guests with African-American sounding names to rent rooms through the Airbnb Site. “There have been too many unacceptable instances of people being discriminated against on the Airbnb platform because of who they are or what they look like”.

Though Airbnb has been under accusations, due to some of their hosts, the company has jumped quickly to find resolutions to this issue. CEO, Brian Chesky, stated “Bias and discrimination have no place on Airbnb, and we have zero tolerance for them.” Moving forward, Airbnb has set new policies to address racism/discrimination within their rental hosts.  Airbnb created a Non-discrimination Policy, making their rental hosts sign and agree to a “Community Commitment”.  The company also stated that they would try to reduce the prominence of user photographs, which indicate race and gender.  Of course, setting these policies does not automatically correct the issue, however it’s definitely a start.

Airbnb as a company, was not aware or in control of their rental hosts racism/discrimination. However, when the issue was finally brought to their attention, the company immediately made strides towards solving and ending the racism/discrimination. The company and CEO, Brian Chesky, made clear that racism and discrimination did not fall under their principles, and planned to fight back against their rental hosts.

This particular case reminds me of Calhoun’s Lesson and Theory.  Calhoun touched on the topic of social virtue and integrity.  Social Virtue is defined as having the proper relations with others.  For example, having the characteristics of fairness, honesty, patience, etc. Once the company realized the actions of their hosts were unfair, unjust, and uncivil; the company made strides towards solving this issue, creating the “Non-discrimination” policy. Calhoun also made clear that Integrity meant, “Standing for the things you think any and everyone should do”. Airbnb has definitely displayed this by fighting for what they believed was right and ethical.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/09/technology/airbnb-anti-discrimination-rules.html?ref=international&_r=0

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