“I hate n– so I’m going to cancel you.”
That’s the message a Black woman received from a North Carolina man on home-sharing platform Airbnb. Shani Taylor, a friend and classmate of the woman who received the message, posted the exchange on Twitter, TIME.com reports.
Airbnb has since permanently banned the host, prohibiting him from offering rooms on the site, according to USA Today.
“We were horrified when we read these messages,” Airbnb spokesman Nick Papas said in a statement. “The language and conduct are unacceptable and violate both our policies and everything we believe in. This host has been removed from Airbnb and we’ve reached out to the guest to offer our full and complete support, including ensuring the guest has a safe place to stay.”
Taylor pointed out just one of the recent incidents that minority customers have echoed about Airbnb. Social media users have shared the hashtag #AirbnbWhileBlack to highlight the difficulties customers face when using the site.
A video released Tuesday by Share Better, an organization that calls Airbnb a “rampant threat” to communities, featured a black woman speaking about the routine discrimination she has encountered on Airbnb and calling on the service to do “more to stop racial discrimination because we deserve better.”
A study conducted by Harvard University showed that customers with “distinctly African-American names were 16% less likely to be accepted by hosts as identical guests with distinctively white names,” according to USA Today.
Airbnb plans to host a forum on June 8 to address claims that certain customers are discriminated against. Topics will cover anonymity vs. identity, discrimination in online platforms, and eliminating bias in hiring decisions, the company said.
SOURCE: USA Today, TIME.com, Harvard University | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty
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