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Airbnb anti-discrimination study finds bias persists in bookings

By Michael Tobin

13 Dec 2022 · 2 min read

Editor's Note

Airbnb has released the findings of its anti-discrimination efforts. Bloomberg reports the data shows the stark reality of racial bias across the globe.

Airbnb released the findings of its anti-discrimination efforts over the past several years, revealing a discrepancy in how guests who are perceived to be Black are approved for short-term bookings on its platform compared with their White counterparts.

The research includes data from the company's Project Lighthouse, an initiative undertaken in 2020 in partnership with Color of Change, the online racial justice organization. Airbnb found that guests perceived to be Black had a 91.4% acceptance rate for bookings made in 2021 while those perceived to be White had a 94.1% acceptance rate. Guests perceived to be Asian and Latino or Hispanic had success rates of 93.4%. The rates are based on a random sample of 750,000 reservation requests. The study determined the perceived race of guests by using a first name and profile photo.

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