Airbnb requires hosts to agree to new nondiscrimination policy

Room-sharing network Airbnb is requiring users to agree to its new anti-bias policy after receiving complaints that some hosts discriminate against potential guests based on race.

According to Refinery29, the San Francisco-based company asked users via email Saturday to agree to the following "Airbnb Community Commitment":

"I agree to treat everyone in the Airbnb community – regardless of their race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age – with respect, and without judgment or bias."

>> Read the Airbnb Community Commitment here

That includes Airbnb's new nondiscrimination policy, which prohibits hosts from refusing guests, imposing conditions or indicating preferences "based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status."

>> Learn more about the nondiscrimination policy here

Hosts will be prompted to accept the agreement when they log in to their account starting Tuesday.

"If you choose to decline, you will not be able to host or book using Airbnb and will have the option to cancel your account," the Airbnb website says. "Once an account is canceled, future booked trips will be canceled; however, you'll still be able to browse Airbnb. If in the future you accept the commitment to inclusion, you're welcome to come back."

>> Airbnb unveils policies to fight user discrimination

Some users sounded off on Airbnb's community forum.

"Are we allowed to discriminate against smokers? How about pet owners?" one user wrote. "There are so many rules and regulations these days, everybody is being discriminated against ... one way or another! We must fight back and keep our rights."
Another user said, "I don’t want to deal with companies who discriminate me and try to take away my freedom of speech. I don’t want to belong in a bunch of hypocrites."
Meanwhile, others applauded the move.
"Airbnb is a company, and if you don't like it, start your own company that discriminates against blacks, Hispanics or whomever else you 'choose' to do it towards," one user wrote. "I'd love to see how far you get with that as the backbone of your company."  
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