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Are hosts allowed to request the full name of a guest before approving?

So that the host could look up the potential guest’s Facebook/LinkedIn…

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That’s a good question. You mean write back to the prospective guest and ask for his/her full name? Bear in mind that even a full name is not necessarily very useful. The name may be so common that you cannot narrow the person down. And people exist who don’t have either a Facebook or Linkedin page.

If one is going to ask, why not just say - please send me a link to your Facebook and/or Linkedin account if you have one?

Yes. (This assumes the host doesn’t use instant book.)

Nope… All links or URLs are blocked. Doing this could get you in trouble with Air as well, as it could be construed as going outside of them.

I don’t think FAKEBook is a good way of vetting guests. We all know Facebook lies. :wink:

True. I had forgotten about Airbnb’s blocking of URLs.

I’m certainly no Facebook fan, quite the contrary, but I figure it’s better than nothing. Or did you mean that people deliberately manufacture dishonest Facebook pages?

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Even when I find a potential guest’s facebook account, it’s always locked. I have yet to find someone who had a public facebook account, unless it is for business.

With a full name, you can usually find something on Facebook. Not necessarily their posts, but you might be able to get some idea of the person from their photos, “likes,” groups etc.

Same with the other social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram and so on.

You can also Google the name. You never know what could pop up, good or bad. For example, if a person was arrested and it was published on the police blotter in the local paper, you might be able to find out.

Intelius will us give you some basic info (US only, I think.)

It shouldn’t be the only thing used to vet guests (or hosts) but it helps somewhat.

I should clarify what I mean… People posting on FB about what wonderful lives they have when it may be less stellar than that in real life. Also unless your page is public, you can strictly limit what is seen on your profile.

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I had a guest with an all public personal FB account. And this guest works at FB !

If many FB accounts are locked, you often find a Twitter account which is all public.

Without asking the full name, doing a Google Images search often works wonders.

Oh, that. Yes, like on dating sites.

But I think from the point of view of an Airbnb host, you are trying to figure out if your guest is a nutjob. And looking at their Facebook page might tell you something.

I suppose, but honestly? I’ve never taken the time to look up a guest on FB. Most of the time you just don’t have enough information. My guest inquiries appear only with a first name until the booking is approved. For example… “Inquiry from Faheem from May 31 to June 2.” It might give your hometown but there could be a million Faheems in your city. My guest inquiries don’t have last names.

Are yours the same?

Yes. But some of the time the guest includes his full name in the request. I routinely write my full name in all business correspondence, for example. And Faheem Mitha is a rare name. There are only two people on the net with that name, myself, and some banker in London. Since I actually went to Cambridge, and could conceivably have ended up a banker in London (some of my classmates and even a friend did), I have theorised that that might be me from an alternate reality. :slight_smile:

Also, people may include identifying information in their profile, like what schools they went to, and where they work. I have quite a lot of identifying information in mine, which probably would be enough to pin me down even if my name wasn’t rare.

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FB helped me in one occasion. A very young man booked our place for himself and 4 other friends. His photo, seriously, was kind of a ‘gangsta’ pose. I was nervous. I friended him on fb and saw the rest of his photos are actually quite well-done - and he looked like a very nice young man. And he was. He and his friends were here from Malaysia as part of a seasonal-employment situation and had been at a ski resort in Utah. They all scrimped and saved and then took a tour around the US before heading home. They were very nice.

What I would look for are photos where everyone is drinking or displaying other party behavior. I have a cousin, MY AGE, and almost every fb photo is him chug-a-lugging.

So as it was, by the time they reached my home, I was very happy to see them, as I felt I knew them already, instead of feeling uneasy.

I don’t remember if I got the info prior to booking or not.

Yes, FB can be modestly useful, I think. If your guest is a gangster/criminal or mentally ill, hopefully a FB page would have some signs of that. And I guess I didn’t explicitly say this earlier, but yes, I do go looking for information on guests when I have enough to start with. Though something other than a FB account would be nice. People searching for me would find my SE accounts right at the top, and I think they are quite informative. Much more than a FB page.

The last time I looked at a printed phone directory (fifteen years ago?) there were ten, yes ten, pages of people in our city with exactly the same name as me.

OK, my parents knew that they had a surname that wasn’t exactly unusual but they could have been more inventive where my first name was concerned :wink:

I am un-googleable!

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? At least that means that if the Terminator wants to target you, he will have a more difficult job. :slight_smile:

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