Airbnb said on Friday that it would change its terms of service so that its arbitration provisions “no longer apply to claims of sexual violence or sexual harassment by its hosts (people renting their homes on the platform) and guests”.
“We believe that survivors should be able to make arguments in the forum that best suits them,” the statement says. “We encourage peers in the tourism and hospitality industry to consider taking similar action for their own communities.”
The company said the practice specifically addresses sexual violence and sexual harassment; the opinion does not mention other forms of harassment.
Airbnb’s Trust and Safety team highlighted a June report Bloomberg, which described how the company handles law enforcement cases, and noted that the company’s business model “is based on the idea that guests can trust each other”.
The arbitration, which is formal, is reminiscent of Airbnb’s employee policy. company said in 2018 that it does not require arbitration cases of sexual harassment of workers. This came at about the same time other technical platforms – including eBay, Facebook, Microsoft and Uber – changed their practices to eliminate mandatory arbitration.