Airbnb’s Anti-Discrimination Policy Starts … Now

By Kenrya Rankin Nov 01, 2016

Want to use Airbnb’s site to rent out your place over the holidays? Starting today, the site requires all users to agree to honor its new anti-discrimination policy. The “Community Commitment”—which was emailed to all existing users over the weekend— says:

I agree to treat everyone in the Airbnb community—regardless of their race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or age—with respect, and without judgment or bias.

Anyone who logs in on the website or opens the app anywhere in the world will be automatically prompted to accept updated terms of service agreement. The full nondiscrimination policy is included within that text. Those who decline will no longer be able to host travelers or book spaces.

A 2014 study found that just 27 percent of people actually read terms of service agreements before checking “I agree.”

The move comes nearly two months after Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky announced changes aimed at address mounting claims of hosts’ racial bias and discrimination.

Per a site post that goes into greater detail on the policy, hosts are permitted to decline requests from guests based on gender if they will share a living space during the stay. Hosts who decline a request based on the other categories listed above or post a listing that either discourages or indicates a preference for people who don’t fall into specific protected classes can face possible suspension.