Airbnb is banning people who are associated with prohibited users as a safety precaution, according to a new report from Motherboard. If a user is banned because they are associated with a person Airbnb deems a safety risk, the user can only return to the platform if they are able to prove they aren’t closely associated with the banned person or if the banned acquaintance successfully appeals their ban.
The short-term rental company told TechCrunch in an email that if a person has been removed from Airbnb for safety reasons, in certain circumstances it may also take action to restrict the accounts of people who are likely to travel with that person. Airbnb said that this is a necessary safety precaution.
Motherboard reports that Airbnb recently informed a user that she was prohibited from the platform because she is closely associated with a person who was banned from Airbnb. The user had booked a rental on Airbnb using the credit card of her boyfriend, who has a criminal record. After appealing the ban, she was informed that Airbnb was upholding the ban to safeguard its community.
Airbnb told TechCrunch that its decision to ban people who are associated with prohibited users extends to any type of safety-related issue, not specifically background check removals.
The company has been completing background checks on its users since 2016, which has led to users getting banned from the platform for things like broken tail lights or unleashed dogs. Now that the company is issuing bans by association, it may be taking things a bit too far for users’ liking.
Airbnb has been prioritizing safety over the past few years in hopes of keeping both hosts and users safe. The company announced a global ban on all parties and events at its listing in 2020 after several people were killed at rentals arranged through its platform. Airbnb made the party ban permanent last year.
Also last year, Airbnb introduced “anti-party” tech to identify potential rule-breakers by looking at factors like the user’s history of reviews, how long the user has been on the platform, length of the trip and distance to the listing. At the time of the launch, Airbnb said the tech is designed to prevent bookings that may turn into unauthorized parties.