Airbnb hires Eric Holder to work on new anti-discrimination policy

From The Verge:

Airbnb said in an announcement today that it is reviewing its anti-discrimination policy in an effort to get its “house in order,” and has recruited an unexpected person to help: former US Attorney General Eric Holder.

“We want this policy to be stronger.”

The company said Holder, who stepped down last year, would be responsible for creating the company’s new policy. He will work with civil rights attorney John Relman on the project.

“While we have a policy that prohibits discrimination, we want this policy to be stronger,” CEO Brian Chesky said in the statement. “And we will require everyone who uses our platform to read and certify that they will follow this policy.” Airbnb said it is halfway through the process of reviewing its platform for possible bias and discrimination.

Airbnb has previously been criticized for instances of discrimination on the service. One prominent study from late last year suggested that hosts were discriminating against guests based on how their names sounded. The company has also faced lawsuits alleging bias.

Today’s announcement assures users of more transparency on the company’s policies and operations going forward. “I promise you that we have learned from the past and won’t repeat our prior mistakes and delays,” Chesky writes. “I sincerely believe that this is the greatest challenge we face as a company.”

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