It is a growing business that promises affordable accommodations, but is it really worth it? Sure bad things can happen anywhere but the thing that sets Airbnb apart from a standard hotel is how almost anyone, it seems, can become a host putting up customers in their home. A lot of perfect strangers sleeping in the same house is a recipe for bad things to happen. That is not just a statement of paranoia, it has been a proven fact time and again, Even as I write this a report came in nine hours ago of another murder at an AirBnB Chicago location and I will place the link to that story and many others in the course of this article for reference points. Man Found Dead After Shooting At Airbnb Party In Barring
In August of 2017, the company was sued by a guest for having been sexually assaulted by their “super host”. Airbnb Sued by Guest Who Says a Host Sexually Assaulted Her. This was an Airbnb California location in Los Angeles. Roundabout the same time this lawsuit was happening a 19-year-old was raped at an Airbnb Melbourne Australia location by yet another “super host” The man was convicted of said rape in December of 2019. Airbnb ‘superhost’ Rapes a 19-Year-Old Guest After Threatening To Leave a Bad Review If She Didn’t Get Drunk and Party With Him.
I could go on forever, virtually article after article dating back many years, the point is, Airbnb never acknowledged the genuine safety concerns. They never acknowledged the need to overhaul whatever process they use, at least not until the media attention for a mass shooting at another Airbnb California location that left 5 people dead on Halloween in 2019 became front and center. Airbnb Pushes New Safety Measures Days After Deadly Party-House Shooting.
New safety measures they say even though a Florida woman was murdered while on vacation at an Airbnb Costa Rica location by a former Airbnb security guard no less back in 2018. The trial for that one began in January of 2020, just this year. New safety measures, yet Just in January 2020 3 people were shot dead at an Airbnb Toronto location. Also in February 2020 a woman was fatally stabbed to death at an Airbnb San Hose location. On March 4th 2020 another Airbnb host admitting to killing his guest in Melbourne Australia.
Here are all the links to articles covering the above incidents.
The list is long and varied and ranges from the destruction of property, theft, sexual assault, outright rape, kidnapping, and murder, of both the individual and multiple varieties. Later I will show you two cases where discrimination plays in, with one of those posing a serious safety concern for an out of town actress and director attending a film festival hundreds of miles from home. For now, I think I have covered enough that a serious question needs to be entertained before going on. Why is Airbnb not being held to account? Before that company came along every bed and breakfast was its own business. They were treated like a business by the homeowners who took care in considering things like a location for instance. They have business licenses. Airbnb is a ragtag collection of anyone, anywhere who wants to make a buck opening their doors to perfect strangers and despite the screenings of both hosts and guests they claim to make and safety measures taken it is too loosely structured for a business that by its very nature sets an intimate stage for both perpetrator and victim. To say nothing of what any particular neighborhood maybe like at some of these locations. Because of this fact, every death, every sexual assault, rape, kidnapping is on that companies hands because nearly every crime that happens at an Airbnb, they facilitated by putting the perpetrator with the victim. They are nothing short of criminals under the guise of a legitimate business… And it’s irresponsible to let it continue, just as it is irresponsible for companies such as Expedia, Hotwire, Travelocity and the like to enhance the problem by promoting their listings rather than scrapping them on account of the risk. There are 1000’s, literally 1000’s of cases with Airbnb providing the location for it to take place in. When is it ever going to be enough?
Okay, last point. Airbnb and the ugly issue of discrimination. Here is a case from June of 2019 that was caught on camera where a host harassed her five guests using racial slurs before kicking them out at 2am in the morning in New York… Which I am certain is just a fabulous place to be stuck outdoors in the early morning hours. That group managed to get new accommodations right away thankfully, nevertheless, I state again these hosts, are not required to be B and B oriented, they aren’t business owners, they are just hired renters that need only pass whatever flimsy screening system that Airbnb has in place. The title of this link might offend you, so fair warning, I tend to use the title of the article to link you to the source. See It: Airbnb Host Asks Black Guests ‘Which Monkey is Gonna Stay on The Couch?’ Before Kicking Them Out.
The last story I will direct your attention to under the Airbnb and discrimination category happened this past Tuesday again in San Jose California. In this particular case, a filmmaker who was in town attending the Cinequest film festival for the premiere of their latest film was put out by her host on account of how she dressed, which you will see in the article of the outfit worn was maybe the host had an issue with bright colors… Who knows, it actually was not very revealing at all. All the same, she found herself stuck with a situation of not knowing where she could go and not being familiar with the area, a valid safety concern for a 12 day stay in a place over 300 miles from home. She has been set up in a hotel until today. Now it was just announced yesterday that the film festival is shutting down its second week on account of the Corona virus scare so she will only have tonight to worry about and hopefully they just let her stay put, but again, it never should have come to this in the first place and likely wouldn’t if Airbnb were more responsible with who they allow to be hosts under their companies banner. Here is the link to that article before I give my closing thoughts on all I have researched since taking this article on. Actress Jessica Cameron Sent Packing By San Jose Airbnb Host Over Her Clothing
Dear Readers, it the humble opinion of The Unspoken Ethic that Airbnb is grossly reckless with the safety of both it’s hosts and it’s guests. I think what the company had was a great idea, in theory, but in practice, it really has facilitated crimes by the 1000’s that otherwise may never have happened if that company did not exist. We’re not talking a shooting a Walmart supercenter here, Airbnb literally has put the lives of both it’s hosts and guests at risk and heartbreakingly more cases than there should ever be, with tragic results. I know everybody wants to praise the way it has ‘revolutionized travel’ and all those cute little corporate buzz phrases, but it does not change the reality that 2020 is not the era to run a business where anyone can open their doors to just any perfect stranger any more than it is an era suitable to sleep in the home of a perfect stranger, as I have repeatedly said, they signed up with an app, they didn’t get a business license to operate like legit bed and breakfast places have. We really need to start thinking about how we hold businesses such as this to account.