Airbnb is conducting an experiment in Oregon that the company hopes will prevent racial discrimination against Black renters.
According to a news release, Airbnb hosts will only see the initials of prospective renters during the booking process. The full names will be revealed after the booking process is completed.
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The two-year experiment will begin on Jan. 31 in Oregon. The experiment is designed to prevent race discrimination, KOIN-TV reported.
“Today, we are sharing an update to the way we display profile names of guests who are Oregon residents during the booking process. Hosts will start seeing an Oregon guest’s initials in place of the guest’s first name until a booking request is confirmed. After a booking is confirmed, the guest’s name will appear.”
The change comes after three Black plaintiffs — Pat Harrington, Carlotta Franklin and Ebony Price — won a settlement against Airbnb. The plaintiffs accused the company of allowing rental owners to discriminate against customers based on race, KGW-TV reported.
Some rental owners discriminate against prospective renters with ethnic sounding names. They claim Black renters throw drug-fueled parties, cause property damage, and commit chargeback fraud.