The housing agency Airbnb is testing the use of an “anti-party tool” in the USA and Canada. This is to avoid people renting properties for house parties contrary to company rules and possibly leaving behind damage.
At the beginning of the pandemic, Airbnb imposed a worldwide ban on parties and events in advertised accommodations and made this permanent “until further notice” at the beginning of the year due to positive experiences. In the meantime, bookings for more than 16 people had also been suspended.
Preventive booking ban
The system is said to “filter out high-risk bookings,” which are very likely to be for parties, according to the company. Factors such as guest ratings, account creation date, length of stay, day of the week and distance from home are taken into account. Should the system refuse a booking, the rejected guests should instead be offered accommodations with a host present or hotel rooms.
A similar filtering process has been tested in Australia since October 2013 and has reduced the number of illegal parties by more than a third, according to the platform. Since 2020, guests under the age of 25 have been assessed separately.
FT sees similarities to Minority Report
The “Financial Times” (“FT”) compared the new rules to the film “Minority Report”, in which a “precrime” department is supposed to use visions to prevent crimes. Airbnb, on the other hand, emphasized that they wanted to “make the platform safe for everyone”.