Airbnb launches initiative to 'uncover, measure and overcome discrimination' on its platform

Airbnb doesn’t want discrimination or racism on its platform.

The company recently announced a new initiative aimed at preventing users from dealing with discrimination or racial bias while using Airbnb as a guest or a host. The program, called Project Lighthouse, was created through a partnership with Color of Change, one of the nation’s largest online racial justice organizations.

On its website, Airbnb describes Project Lighthouse as a way to “uncover, measure and overcome discrimination” when using the platform.

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According to the website, “This project will address discrimination that's based on perception — and on Airbnb, people perceive race from things like first names and profile photos. Together, with civil rights organizations like Color Of Change and Upturn, we're beginning with research to understand when and where racial discrimination happens on our platform and the effectiveness of policies that fight it.”

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Prior to the launch of Project Lighthouse, Airbnb users have had to agree to a non-discrimination policy. With the new initiative, the company also says it will investigate instances of discrimination and help users find another place to stay in those circumstances.

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Airbnb will also be looking at what types of guests hosts are accepting and collecting data on when cancellations occur, House Beautiful reports. The company will then be scanning through reviews from both hosts and guests to root out any potential patterns of discrimination.