Airbnb’s ‘anti-party tech’ targets US and Canadian users • The Register

Satisfied with the “success” of a pilot program in Australia, Airbnb is bringing its “anti-party technology” to the United States and Canada.

The hosting app claims this technology can automatically identify so-called “high-risk bookings”, i.e. parties, and block them.

Airbnb said it piloted the system from October and said it saw a 35% drop in unauthorized parties – not exactly a 100% reduction, let’s note – in parts of Australia where it was in effect. . With the Australian pilot phase complete and the feature rolling out to Down Under, Airbnb said it “hopes for similar success as we begin testing it in the US and Canada.” By similar success, it certainly doesn’t mean a system that flags only one out of three unauthorized parties.

In August 2020, Airbnb adopted a ban on all parties largely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic but also – in our view – because big parties tended to end in property damage, violence, or annoyed neighbors, and Airbnb didn’t need the negative press every time a explode or murder past.

The company said it has always banned ‘unauthorized parties’, which means that if you rent a property whose landlord says parties are banned, you have to stick to that rule, and most of landlords had a no party rule. Then this unauthorized party ban was extended to all parties, and Airbnb rental occupancy was capped at 16 people; in June of this year, the biz announced that these rules were now permanent.

According to Airbnb, the anti-party tool is supposed to help it crack down on such gatherings in an automated way, and it works by looking at a number of data points, such as the user’s personal information and the particular reservation. “Factors such as positive review history (or lack thereof), length of time the guest has been on Airbnb, length of trip, distance [from a guest’s home] to-list, weekend vs. weekday,” and many others are considered, the company said when announcing the upgrade.

“This system is more robust and sophisticated” than just (say) checking people’s ages, he said. The register Wednesday. “We anticipate this new system will help prevent more malicious actors on our platform while having less of a blunt impact on guests not trying to throw a party.”

Airbnb has special rules for people under 25 who want to book rentals, such as preventing those people from booking an entire house near them without at least three positive reviews. Users who were blocked from making full reservations were still allowed to book single rooms and hotels through Airbnb. This same policy still applies, so people filtered by the anti-party system can still make a reservation – but not a party-friendly reservation.

What was unclear in Airbnb’s statement was whether such a ban only applied to a single booking or followed the user like a flag on their account. Airbnb also made no mention of an appeal process, whether age will continue to be a factor, or whether decisions are reviewed by a human.

Despite its focus on short-term partiers, Airbnb said long-term stays “of 28 days or more” remain its fastest-growing category, up nearly 25% from a year ago. one year and nearly 90% compared to the second quarter of 2019. The company said during its second quarter results earlier this month indicated that active listings for country destinations rose nearly 50% from the second quarter of 2019, driven by continued demand for “non-urban nights.” ®

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