SAN FRANCISCO -- You've heard of “driving while black,” but how about “bedding while black?” That's the issue being raised with the hashtag #AirbnbWhileBlack.
Some black users of the popular room rental site claim hosts are rejecting their bookings because of their race.
One bachelor's degree, one master's degree, and one doctorate's degree later, and I still can't rent your apartment. SMH#AirbnbWhileBlack
— fayefayefaye (@fayefayefaye) April 30, 2016
To test out the bad bed habit, one person decided to create a fake profile posing as a white guy. The host originally denied the user saying that his place was not available but when the user applied for the same spot with the white profile, the host's room was suddenly open for business.
— G (@_GSelden) May 4, 2016
According to a recent Harvard study, this doesn't appear to be an isolated case. It determined that Airbnb hosts are less likely to rent to people with African-American sounding names.
Airbnb has addressed the issue via their director of diversity who says, "We recognize that bias and discrimination present significant challenges, and we are taking steps to address them."
The study concluded that the fault was also with Airbnb's design, since hosts are allowed to see photos of potential guests.
But until any significant changes are made, if you're black and are tired of racism, it might take you a little bit longer to find a place to rest.
When a host responds and says their spot is actually unavailable those dates, but you check later and it's still for rent #AirbnbWhileBlack
— chantal fae (@chantalspeaks) May 6, 2016
I reverted back to using my Choice & Marriott memberships. Mom always told me, "NEVER STAY WHERE YOU'RE NOT WANTED". #AirbnbWhileBlack
— S. Earl 香农 (@o_relius) May 6, 2016
I got denied every single inquiry on Airbnb. One girl actually deleted her profile after I made an inquiry. #AirbnbWhileBlack
— Tiandra 📝 (@tiandrazen) May 6, 2016
I'm down for the #AirbnbWhileBlack convo, but if you're a black traveler dnt let it deter you.Used Airbnb in Paris,Berlin & London w/o issue
— eb. (@_ebonibee) May 6, 2016