After a deadly shooting at an Airbnb property and a series of rental scams using the platform, the company has vowed to verify all listings on the platform by the end of 2020.
Airbnb is to verify every listing on its platform, following a string of scams and a deadly shooting at a house party.
In a series of tweets on Wednesday (6 November), Airbnb co-founder and chief executive Brian Chesky said every home and host on the site would be reviewed and verified by 15 December 2020.
A refund policy will also be introduced next month, to ensure guests will either be rebooked into a different listing or fully refunded when a property does not meet Airbnb’s standards for accuracy, Chesky said.
By 12/15/20, every home and every host on Airbnb will have been reviewed, with the objective to verify 100% of listings. Trust on the Internet begins with verifying the accuracy of the information on Internet platforms — this is an important step for our industry.
— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) November 6, 2019
The announcement comes after five people were killed in a Halloween party shooting at a rented Airbnb property in the San Francisco suburb of Orinda on 31 October. The incident led to Chesky vowing to ban “party houses” on the platform.
Meanwhile, Vice reporter Alli Conti released an investigation into Airbnb scammers who posted inaccurate listings and then pressured guests into staying at properties they did not reserve.
Brian Chesky said in a tweet that Airbnb will launch a 24/7 “neighbour hotline”, allowing people to call the company anywhere in the world and speak to “a real person”.
The trust of our community continues to be a top priority for us. We’re taking steps in designing trust on our platform, including the Airbnb Guest Guarantee, a 24/7 neighbor hotline & working towards 100% verification of all homes by 12/15/20. Learn more: https://t.co/OCzgkkhMhW https://t.co/m6JY3s1aFE
— Airbnb (@Airbnb) November 6, 2019
“We are expanding manual screening of high-risk reservations flagged by our risk detection models, first to North America and then globally next year,” Chesky said on Twitter.
“This will help stop unauthorised parties before they start. I want to be clear – we are not infallible. We are a platform built on a foundation of trust.
“We need to continue innovating on trust to make it harder for the bad actors. The trust of our community is our top priority.”
In 2018, the platform permanently banned a man who crammed more than 250 people into a rental in Seven Hills, Ohio, for an unauthorised new year party, while his host hid in a bedroom. In July, two people were killed during a party at an Airbnb in Pittsburgh.
— PA Media