Eric Holder to help tackle discrimination at Airbnb

Airbnb hasn’t quite figured out how to keep its hosts from denying guests because of their race. But the company promises it’s working on it — and it’s brought in Eric Holder to help.

The former U.S. attorney general has signed on to help Airbnb address widespread claims of racism that sparked the viral #AirbnbWhileBlack hashtag, Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky announced in a company blog post Wednesday.

The news comes as Airbnb says it’s halfway through a promised review of “every aspect of the Airbnb platform.” In an effort led by Laura Murphy, former head of the ACLU Washington, D.C. legislative office, the company is meeting with civil rights leaders and getting input from Airbnb employees. The goal is to create a stronger anti-discrimination policy, beef up unconscious bias training for hosts and hire new employees to sniff out issues.

Airbnb hasn’t unveiled any solutions in more detail, but it has created an email address where people can submit their ideas:

“This process isn’t close to being over, but we want to be as transparent as possible along the way because I know we’ve failed on that front previously,” Chesky wrote. “Over the last month, I have been reflecting on why we have been slow to address these problems. Joe, Nate, and I started Airbnb with the best of intentions, but we weren’t fully conscious of this issue when we designed the platform. After speaking to many of you, I have learned that there have at times been a lack of urgency to work on this, and we need to rectify that immediately.”

Chesky also spoke on this last week during Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference, saying Airbnb employees “took our eye off the ball on this incredibly important issue.”

 Photo: Former Attorney General Eric Holder takes questions during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington in 2014. (Charles Dharapak/AP)


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  • Excellent. Holder will give fully automatic machine guns to Air BNB hosts and track which guns wind up with which guests.

  • wildling

    Right or wrong, I understand why they discriminate

  • MH2001

    Well, he is an airhead so it is a perfect fit.

  • Anyone wanting to fight discrimination doesn’t really want Eric Holder. Airbnb just made it easier for me to decide how to book future travel. I won’t be looking at Airbnb.

    Still have Travelocity, Expedia, Viago, Pricelinw and Booking. One less App to check. Nothing like a company using stupidity to remove itself from the competition.

    If they want to Inject racism into MY decision not to endanger my life my living among savages who will not hesitate to kill me by virtue of MY RACE, then we have no need to conduct business.