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Protest Airbnb's ridiculous new policy preventing hosts from choosing their guests

#3

You will have to deal with this it is the reality you live in. You can as a single female host not host men so there is that. In your case it may be better to go to IB and then at least you can cancel as uncomfortable with guest.

Good luck

RR

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#4

Here are some existing threads about this not-so-new policy

Ouch. See this thread:

https://airhostsforum.com/t/warning-dont-depend-on-airbnb/7595

There are so many threads about this I can’t post them all but if you’d like to peruse them you can find them using the search function of the site.

I have to say that despite your feelings science tells us that you can’t tell if someone is creepy by looking at them. Study after study shows that people discriminate based on looks.

Welcome to the forum. I’m sure you will find some kindred spirits here. You may also find us to be completely offputting.

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#5

@KKC so true about the looks as that was why serial killer Ted Bundy was so successful because of his normal good looks…

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#6

There are so many studies on appearance based discrimination. I first learned about it in the 1970s as a Criminal Justice major. People think they can tell who is a criminal based on looks. And this discrimination is across cultures, race and class. There is an amazing amount of consensus on what constitutes beautiful or ugly regardless of who you ask.

That said, as recently discussed on other threads, there are very good sound reasons to be wary of hosting men, it’s just problematic to discriminate against individuals. We host individuals, not groups.

1 Like
#7

Where have you been @Elicia_Deva? The “no photos until they book” thing has been around for at least six months. If you had read the messages from Air back then you would not be surprised now.

BTW – “They” did not ‘force’ you to build your livelihood around their business model – you CHOSE to become a Hospitality Entrepreneur. You can always just make a website and advertise yourself. Or join another booking company.

It’s Airbnb’s company and if you want to be associated with them you have to play by their rules – like it or not. Too many bad hosts out there discriminated against a variety of people in a variety of ways – including (apparently) appearance. So Air over-reacts and here we are. Like it or leave it. Tat’s the wy it is.

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#8

Hi @Elicia_Deva

Welcome.

Slightly confused by your post. as Airbnb announced widely (I think back in the autumn) that they were introducing a change that hosts would only see a guest photo upon booking. They emailed all hosts, promoted the change on their website and in their host newsletter.

I host in a similar situation to you and am happy not to see the guest photo until they book.

Never had to cancel a booking in over 3.5 years and hundreds of guests because a guy is ‘creepy’.

#9

ABB is trying to stop rampant discrimination. So are a lot of other companies.

Attractive people do better in court than ugly people. They found very strong discrimination against African-Americans. Overweight. Older.

Or age or race or dress or anything else that people judge you on.

There’s absolutely no need to see a guest photo. It is pure discrimination for the most part.

#10

Hi, I think you could disable the instant booking and then ask each person who wants to book you a photo or ask questions that help you determine if they were a good fit for you (weed out the uptight suburbanite). Yeah, they can be a pain in the neck, I admit.

#11

I also loathe this policy.

And there is a modicum (or more) of legitimacy to the observation that hosts build livelihoods around the AirBNB business model.

    1. Is there an assumption that being an STR host involves no capital investment?
    1. That folks just “happen to have” a spare 3BR house fully furnished, or two “extra” rooms in their house? That this is all “easy come, easy go” ?
    1. That the sums of money involved in terms of income aren’t TREMENDOUS and a huge chunk higher than LTRs?
    1. That STR guests fit about 4 million times better than LTR housemates for older women, single women with children, anyone else but partying millennials?

Does EVERYONE here have a plan for AirBNB disappearing tomorrow? What’s your hedge? “I’ll invest in mattresses and wall art and put time into a website, writing a House Manual, appearing in front of my Legislature, getting the Keurig and the bottled water, replacing the crap windows and the worn-out rug, oh maybe I’ll pick up 3-4 dilapidated houses in Nashville/New Orleans or a mansion in Palm Desert, take out some big loans,”

… whether your plan is big or small, isn’t it based on being on AirBNB for say five years and amortizing an investment?

And then AirBNB changes any and all ground rules as it goes along. As if the impact of these are “zero” in terms of setup costs and investment, and a continuing livelihood, to the hosts that comprise its service offerings.

Is the idea here that any/all AirBNB listings should cost the host what, 25 cents for some used sheets from Goodwill? And further, that once you have sunk costs, that if AirBNB becomes untenable, you can merrilly Charleston over to TripAdvisor, BDC, Houfy etc. who have only tiny percents of market share in a lot of places?

Which is it? “Don’t count on AirBNB” (of course) but also, “To be a Superhost, you need to do these 30 things right, and all cost $$$ and sweat equity.” The two concepts are in opposition to each other.

Further, AirBNB has pretty much revived and captured the “boarding house/rooming house” model for itinerants that used to stay with older women trying to preserve their only remaining asset – their main property. Senior women are the highest rated AirBNB hosts. AND AT THE SAME TIME, the photo policy gravely harms women who homeshare. We just have no tolerance in the slightest for “no photos.” We’d be crazy to accept people on a no-photo basis.

I get why men and investor hosts don’t care, but that’s not the same situation at all.

Anyway, my workarounds for no photos, @Elicia_Deva

  • No instant book
  • No acceptance on the basis of a brief message such as “arriving Wednesday 9 p.m.” I require an awesome note about who the guest is, and what brings them to my city.
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#12

Oh dear, not this old one again. It’s getting really boring now.

Anyone who is so uptight that they need a photograph of their guests - photographs that can be nothing like them or taken twenty years ago - need to simply use another listing service if they don’t like any rules (or anything at all) about Airbnb. No one is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to use them.

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#13

Example: Ted Bundy. Good looking. White. Law school student. well spoken. Well written.

Its a shame he didn’t come with a giant flashing danger sign.

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#14

In fact, most horrible people anyone would care to mention. They only look creepy after the fact when we know what they’ve done.

For instance, someone who always strikes me as really creepy looking is that guy (Chapman) who shot John Lennon. But that’s only after the fact. If he really was creepy looking Lennon would have run a mile.

If only we could tell what people are like by the way they look. :slight_smile:

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#15

“There’s research on attractiveness, and that people who are more attractive are better in every way,” she told Business Insider. “There’s a bias toward attractive people that’s reinforced by mass media, and even when a movie casts a bad guy they cast someone who’s objectively unattractive, unless the intention is to have the audience be surprised that the bad guy is bad.” The same could be said “of anyone who has some sort of physical feature that goes against the norm,” she notes, “like a physical disability or disfigurement.”

#16

@Annet3176 that’s why I mentioned him in my reply above which was post number 4(?).

#17

Exactly. Complaining about this change is pure nonsense since Airbnb never actually required a guest to have a clear and recent profile photos of herself/himself. I’ve been through my guest profiles and exactly 30% have a photo of a pet or a photo of when they were a little kid.

1 Like
#18

These studies aren’t perfect, and should be larger scale and would need to be replicated, but still, it seems both humans and AI may be able to pick out criminals from noncriminals based on photos alone.

Gut instinct: We can identify criminals on sight, study finds | Cornell …

On a scale of one to seven, study participants rated how likely each man was to have committed a crime. If they thought a crime had been committed, they were asked to pick violent or nonviolent crimes and to specify which crime had taken place.

“We found a small but reliable effect,” Valla said. “Subjects rated the criminal photos as significantly more likely to have committed a crime than noncriminals.”

Neural Network Learns to Identify Criminals by Their Faces - MIT …

The results are unsettling. Xiaolin and Xi found that the neural network could correctly identify criminals and noncriminals with an accuracy of 89.5 percent. “These highly consistent results are evidences for the validity of automated face-induced inference on criminality, despite the historical controversy surrounding the topic,” they say.

Xiaolin and Xi say there are three facial features that the neural network uses to make its classification. These are: the curvature of upper lip which is on average 23 percent larger for criminals than for noncriminals; the distance between two inner corners of the eyes, which is 6 percent shorter; and the angle between two lines drawn from the tip of the nose to the corners of the mouth, which is 20 percent smaller.

All this heralds a new era of anthropometry, criminal or otherwise. Last week, researchers revealed how they had trained a deep-learning machine to judge in the same way as humans whether somebody was trustworthy by looking at a snapshot of their face. This work is another take on the same topic. And there is room for much more research as machines become more capable.

In sum – We are hardwired via evolution to constantly scan our environment for threats. Common sense dictates the importance of scanning someone’s photo for a rough determination of whether they are friend or foe:

One of the most pervasive ecological demands is predatory avoidance. The relentless pressure to outwit predators while balancing homeostatic threats, such as resource depletion, has produced a nervous system that optimizes survival actions. These optimal actions provide the organism with a survival intelligence that permits appropriate responses to an array of environments and circumstances that range from non-threatening to life endangering. In humans this behavioral repertoire is supported by a neurobiological system that has endowed us with a powerful set of intelligent survival mechanisms, promoting adaptation to changing ecologies and efficient navigation of natural dangers.

Re: Ted Bundy – yes he was cleancut but there was some meanness in his eyes and an intensity and Manson-style craziness in his expression.

#19

Luckily Airbnb will make this academic discussion, for hosting purposes, moot. I’m ready.

1 Like
#20

Please don’t claim to speak on behalf of women who homeshare @PuppyLover . You don’t.

In my opinion, the policy doesn’t harm women who homeshare and I don’t care if I don’t see someone’s photo before they book.

And of course the change in policy doesn’t mean we have to accept guests without a photo, just that we only see it once a booking is confirmed.

The reality is that as I use IB - so with about 95% of my bookings I see the photos on booking, so it makes absolutely no difference to me from how it was before they changed the policy, as I have the box ticked that I only accept guests who upload a profile photo.

4 Likes
#21

I get the feeling that some of the newer members here disregard what I might say about a home-sharing situation because every time I refer to ‘our rentals’ these days, I’m talking about our two separate, fully self catering apartments.

However, for many years in the last century I had the fortune to live in a house with six bedrooms (three of them admittedly tiny) and only needed two so the property became a bed and breakfast establishment.

This was, of course, home share as we now know it. I was female, young, and had a small child. My husband was largely absent due to work. So I was basically an attractive and young single woman with a child sharing her home with (on almost every occasion) men.

The very idea of seeing a photograph before a guest arrived was impossible enough to be ridiculous. Most times I just knew their names and as there was no requirement to see ID, or anything of that nature, I had no idea if they were telling the truth or not.

Any single woman who is so precious that she needs to see accurate photographs of all guests before they arrive should think very carefully about why she is sharing her home with strangers and entering this business.

4 Likes
#22

You can take your judgments elsewhere.
Yes, I am precious, my life is precious, that is my right.
I have a right to discernment about who I interact with.
If you don’t care, that is your right too, but you can keep your judgements of other people’s rights to yourself.

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