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Is AirBNB Racist AF? Harvard Business School Has A Theory

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If your parent’s named you Watermelonisha, chances are you’ll have a hard time renting someone’s funkdafied apartment on AirBNB. A new study conducted by the Harvard Business School found that people with “black-sounding” names were 16% less likely to secure a reservations compared to someone with a more … ehhh … “White-sounding” name.

And get this, it’s not just White folks hating on Black folks, there are plenty of Black folks hating on Black folks. “Both African- American and White hosts discriminate against African-American guests; both male and female hosts discriminate; both male and female African-American guests are discriminated against.”

To conduct the study, the researchers sent out “roughly 6,400 messages to hosts between July 7, 2015 and July 30, 2015,” using both Black and White sounding names and tracked the rejections and approvals based on the name.

AirBNB has admitted there’s definitely a problem, but they’re working to address it. “We recognize that bias and discrimination are significant challenges, and we welcome the opportunity to work with anyone that can help us reduce potential discrimination in the Airbnb community.”

Do you think you’ve been discriminated against on AirBNB because of your ethnicity? Let us know in the comments.

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