Booking a room through Airbnb is interesting. You don’t just go to the site and book a room on the spot. The host has the right to accept or decline bookings so they definitely have some control when it comes to who will be staying at their place.
Some reasons that a property might not be available could vary. Maybe the room’s owner will be away for the dates you need, maybe a long-term renter is there, who knows.
NBC News is reporting that some people hoping to rent a place might not get it due to discrimination.
According to “a working paper from Harvard researchers“, Airbnb renters with African-American sounding names face “widespread discrimination“.
The study says that users with names LaToya and Darnell are 16% less likely to have room-requested accepted opposed to names like Allison or Greg.
NBC News mentions that “The researchers created sets of profiles that were exactly the same, except that one had a distinctly African-American-sounding name and the other a white-sounding name. They then reached out to the hosts of 6,400 listings across five cities“.
The crazy part of the research is that it didn’t matter whether or not the Airbnb host was African-American or white, male or female- they all discriminated based on names.