SAN FRANCISCO– In response to Airbnb’s three-year review of its anti-discrimination efforts, Color Of Change, the nation’s largest online racial justice organization which collaborated with Airbnb on its original 2016 report and ongoing policy changes, issued the following statement from President Rashad Robinson:
“Airbnb has long modelled for its Big Tech peers how to engage with civil rights groups to build inclusive online and offline spaces for Black people and people from marginalized communities. Airbnb’s leadership has proven they understand that progress and partnership come from measured action, not unfulfilled promises. Under the helm of Laura Murphy, this report continues a promising trend of not only evaluating the impact of company policies, but also committing to systemic enforcement and transparency of anti-discrimination policies across all departments of the organization.
Color Of Change values the tangible policy developments that have come out of our collaboration with Airbnb, but there’s more work to be done to fully understand the extent of online harms. Additionally, Airbnb should extend online anti-discrimination policies to the offline experience of Black hosts and guests.
Specifically, Airbnb must be transparent when it comes to collaboration standards with law enforcement, in order to truly rid the platform of ongoing threats to Black users. Consistent evaluations of these collaborations should be standard practice, especially when neighbors and hosts endanger Black guests by calling (or threatening to call) the police.
Finally, this evaluation of Airbnb’s progress on civil rights ignores the company’s ongoing contribution to gentrification of certain neighborhoods. Fully exonerating Airbnb from its negative impact on communities of color, as with fighting bias online and offline, will require a full commitment from every department of the company.”