Before the end of the year, Airbnb plans to display user photos less prominently, promote instant bookings and introduce technological changes to address widespread reports of racial discrimination against nonwhite guests, according to a report released by the online vacation home rental marketplace Thursday.
The changes were announced following months of criticism sparked in part by the Twitter hashtag #AirbnbWhileBlack, which featured accounts from African-American users who said they were discriminated against on the platform.
"Bias and discrimination have no place on Airbnb, and we have zero tolerance for them," Chief Executive Officer Brian Chesky wrote in an email to users. "Unfortunately, we have been slow to address these problems, and for this I am sorry."
Starting Nov. 1, Airbnb users must agree to treat fellow members without bias regardless of race, religion, national origin, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or age, Reuters reported.