Airbnb will now have a ‘Party House Rapid Response Team’
Following an unauthorised, overcrowded Halloween party which ended with five people shot dead, Airbnb has pledged to police house parties better.
A supposed small group had booked an Airbnb in Ordina, an area near San Francisco. According to The Associated Press, the renter booked claiming that “she wanted the Airbnb so her asthmatic family members could escape wildfire smoke”.
However this was a lie and the rental was swiftly publisised on Instagram as hosting a Halloween party. The party snowballed out of control, with more than 100 people arriving, one or more of which turned out to be a mass shooter.
Five people, all under the age of 30, were shot dead. The news has sparked Airbnb to take action, with the company’s CEO personally apologising.
Brian Chesky, CEO and co-founder of the rental company, took to Twitter soon after the tragic news for an announcement. Chesky said that “starting today” (November 2), Airbnb would create a dedicate team to tackle situations like this.
Chesky went on to detail a step by step response to the shooting. He said that ‘party houses’ are outright banned, and that Airbnb is clamping down on abusive hosts/guests.
First, we are expanding manual screening of high-risk reservations flagged by our risk detection technology.— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) November 2, 2019
He reveals this will be achieved with “manual screening” suing risk detection technology. Airbnb will also have a ‘party house’ response team managed by Margaret Richardson, a top Airbnb exec. Chesky also revealed Airbnb has no issues removing guests who violate any of the policies.
Third, we are taking immediate action against users who violate these enhanced guest policies, including removal.— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) November 2, 2019
We must do better, and we will. This is unacceptable.— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) November 2, 2019
According to The Guardian, California governor Gavin Newsom called the shooting a “horrific tragedy” but wrote: “This will barely make the news today. That’s how numb we have become to this.”
In America this year alone, there have been almost 300 mass shooting events, with more than 300 dead and 1,200 injured. This most recent case joins a worryingly exhaustive list.
Airbnb has been working hard this year offering up a more diverse and exciting range of services. These include everything from castle rentals, animal experiences, staying in Barbie's Dreamhouse, and even getting back-stage access to lingerie shows.
All the Instagram accounts promoting the party have since disappeared.