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Tuesday, October 4, 2022
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Airbnb Launches ‘Anti-Party’ Technology

Business

Cell phone with Airbnb logo | Image by Shutterstock

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Airbnb is launching a new technology to crack down on customers who use the short-term rental service to throw parties.

The company announced Tuesday that its “anti-party tools” will prevent problematic guests in the United States and Canada from booking short-term rentals by looking at factors like review history, time since guests first registered, booking length, distance to the listing, and dates, among other things.

“The primary objective is attempting to reduce the ability of bad actors to throw unauthorized parties which negatively impact our hosts, neighbors, and the communities we serve,” Airbnb said in a statement.

“It’s integral to our commitment to our host community – who respect their neighbors and want no part of the property damage and other issues that may come with unauthorized or disruptive parties,” added the company.

In the past, Airbnb has struggled to prevent its customers from misusing its service to host large-scale parties.

The San Francisco-based company said large, unauthorized social gatherings created many problems for Airbnb hosts and surrounding neighbors. In 2019, five people were killed at a Halloween party hosted in a California mansion rented through Airbnb.

Chronic party houses” became such an issue in 2019 that Airbnb implemented a rule that provided for hosts to be kicked off the platform for allowing them to occur.

Still, party houses saw an increase in bookings in 2020 following the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, which forced many bars, clubs, and restaurants in various states to shutter their doors.

In response to the unwelcome uptick in large gatherings, Airbnb set an occupancy limit of 16 and instituted a temporary ban on all parties and events.

By 2021, 6,600 users had been banned from the platform, according to the company.

In June of 2022, Airbnb lifted its 16-person occupancy limit but made its “party ban” permanent.

The technology is not entirely new to the company: Airbnb stated it is a “more robust and sophisticated version” of its “under-25 system,” which prevents guests under 25 years old with fewer than three positive reviews from booking an entire house in their local area.

Guests who cannot book entire homes can still request single rooms, according to the company.

Airbnb said it would be transparent about its “party ban” results as it begins testing the technology throughout the U.S. and Canada.

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