In an Attempt to Fight Racial Bias, Airbnb is Switching Full Names For Initials

Instead of using prospective guests full names in the booking process, Airbnb is opting to use initials to forfend racial discrimination.

Airbnb is making some necessary changes to combat racial bias. In late-December, Airbnb published an official statement that the company will be attempting a test for prospective Oregon guests to only use their initials in the booking process. Once booking is confirmed, the guests full names will appear. Once the change is fully implemented by January 31, 2022, it will be in effect for at least two years.

“Airbnb has no tolerance for discrimination, and we have taken a number of steps to help fight bias. Some of these initiatives include requiring all Hosts and guests to agree to the Airbnb Community Commitment, which requires everyone who uses Airbnb to treat others without discrimination and with respect,” the statement read.

According to NPR, In 2019, Airbnb reached a settlement with three African American women, who alleged that the company site allowed hosts to discriminate against prospective Black guests through use of their names and photographs. The women argued that it was in violation of Oregon’s public accommodation laws.

“This update is consistent with the voluntary settlement agreement we reached in 2019 with individuals in Oregon who raised concerns regarding the way guests’ names are displayed when they seek to book a listing,” the statement added.

Racial discrimination took place long prior to the 2019 lawsuit, where in 2016, a Harvard Business School study found that guests with “distinctly African-American names are roughly 16% less likely to be accepted than identical guests with distinctively White names.”

Months after the study, Airbnb tapped Laura Murphy, the former head of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington D.C. Legislative Office to write a comprehensive report that outlined the company’s efforts to fight discrimination and build inclusion. The report was also highlighted in an apology statement given by Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky.

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

Published by
Jaelani Turner-Williams

Recent Posts

Michael Jackson’s Estate & Sony Music Reach Settlement Over Fake Songs Dispute

Sony Music and the estate of Michael Jackson have settled after a battle over claims… Read More

August 11, 2022

Sesame Place To Hold Racial Bias Training Amid Discrimination Lawsuit

Sesame Place has announced that a company review and racial bias training will be held… Read More

August 11, 2022

Emmett Till’s Cousin Speaks Out About Decision Not To Indict Carolyn Bryant Donham

Rev. Wheeler Parker Jr., cousin of Emmett Till, has called the decision not to indict… Read More

August 11, 2022

Megan Thee Stallion Will Release Sophomore Album ‘Traumazine’ Tomorrow

New Megan Thee Stallion album Traumazine arrives tomorrow with features from Rico Nasty, Pooh Shiesty, Lucky… Read More

August 11, 2022

10 Live Old-School Hip-Hop Tapes You Can Stream on YouTube

From The Cold Crush Brothers legendary battle with The Fantastic Five to a teenaged Rakim… Read More

August 11, 2022

‘The Flash’ Might Be Cancelled Due To Growing Ezra Miller Controversy

The future of Warner Bros. franchise The Flash is uncertain as Ezra Miller faces charges of… Read More

August 11, 2022