Room-sharing platform introduces new policies after complaints from users.
Airbnb is taking steps to promote more inclusive accommodation on its site after facing accusations from renters who say they were discriminated against by hosts because of race, sexuality or other characteristics.
After a three-month review by the company Airbnb will up its nondiscrimination policy, do more to diversify its own workforce, and offer training to its hosts, according to a report released Thursday.
‘‘After thoroughly analyzing this issue, I came to believe that Airbnb guests should not be asked or required to hide behind curtains of anonymity when trying to find a place to stay,’’ writes the report’s author, Laura Murphy, who was brought on as an adviser to lead Airbnb’s review.
‘‘Technology can bring us together and technology shouldn’t ask us to hide who we are. Instead, we should be implementing new, creative solutions to fight discrimination and promote understanding.’’
Through their own research, the company acknowledges in the report, ‘‘generally confirmed public reports that minorities struggle more than others to book a listing.’’
Under another new policy, the company vows to immediately find alternative, comparable accommodations for guests who have experienced discrimination, even if that means pointing them to a hotel when no other Airbnb options exist and potentially subsidizing the price difference.
In its revised nondiscrimination policy, the company is more explicit that hosts cannot decline guests based on their color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. Nor can they post any statements suggesting a preference or discouraging any group.
“We believe that no matter who you are, where you are from, or where you travel, you should be able to belong in the Airbnb community. By joining this community, you commit to treat all fellow members of this community, regardless of race, religion, national origin, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or age, with respect, and without judgment or bias.”