Airbnb hosts reportedly used closed Facebook groups to gossip about guests and share lewd, personal information
Category : entrepreneur
- Thousands of Airbnb and VRBO hosts reportedly used closed Facebook groups to gossip about the guests staying in their short-term rentals, according to screenshots collected by travel site Skift.
- The report identified two groups: “Airbnb Guests Blacklist” and “Airbnb Host Community — Vent, Recommend, and Discuss,” where hosts shared anecdotes about guests they found to be annoying.
- This venting reportedly veered into invasions of privacy, with hosts posting photos and names of guests, along with speculations about guests’ sexual activities. In some cases, hosts reportedly outed guests by sharing information about their sexual orientation with thousands of other Facebook users.
- Facebook confirmed that it has already banned one of the groups and is investigating the other in a statement to Business Insider.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Thousands of short-term rental hosts with listings on Airbnb and Vrbo have used closed Facebook groups to gossip about their guests, frequently sharing guests’ personal information and photos, according to screenshots collected by the travel site Skift.
The gossip reportedly took place in at least two Facebook groups, titled “Airbnb Guests Blacklist” and “Airbnb Host Community — Vent, Recommend, and Discuss.”
Both groups were intended as places for short-term rental hosts to exchange information about guests they didn’t like in order to warn other hosts, the screenshots show. In many cases, hosts would post names, photos, and other identifying information about guests — an apparent breach of Airbnb’s community standards.
In one post to the group “Airbnb Host Community — Vent, Recommend, and Discuss,” which has 16,715 members, an Airbnb host reportedly posted a photo and profile of a potential guest from the Philippines, along with a message from the potential guest that included information about his sexual orientation: “Hi. I would like to know if it’s fine if I will bring a guy in one of my stays? Just in case I was able to hook up with any guys there? Thanks.”
The host reportedly wrote in the Facebook group, “So I go into the app and I see this crap. I’m like ‘Seriously Lil’ Dude…like wtf? My finger went into the Decline button so fast that it felt like my ex-wife was calling. LMAO.”
In another post, a woman reportedly shared a photo that she said depicted one of her guests urinating in her backyard, along with the guest’s name, complaining that “these pigs cannot bother going inside to use the toilet and are peeing all over my yard.”
An Airbnb spokesperson told Business Insider that it will take action if it finds that the posts violate Airbnb’s community standards. It’s against those standards for hosts to expose guests’ personal information, like names or photos.