Airbnb made a number of significant changes to its platform and functionality to restore its users' confidence in a VICE report that uncovered a nationwide network of deceptions and raised questions about the company's overall review and reimbursement process.  "Today, we are taking the most important steps in designing the trust in our platform since our original draft in 2008," said Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky, in an email to employees on Wednesday]  Chesky said the company will conduct a one-year project to ensure that every single home listed on the platform is accurately advertised. As a stopgap, "the company will rebook the guest with a new list of equal or greater value" or reimburse it in full from the next month if the rent booked does not meet the company's accuracy standards.
"As of now, we review all seven million Airbnb listings," said Chesky. "We believe that trust in the Internet begins with verifying the accuracy of information on Internet platforms, and we believe this is an important step for our industry."
Following mass shootings at an Airbnb rental in Orinda, California, last week, Airbnb plans to make further changes, including banning "party houses" and setting up a "24/7 neighborhood hotline" by a fast-track Reaction Team is headed. According to Airbnb, "anyone" can call the company anytime. All over the world and reach a real person at Airbnb. "
The Company has also promised to extend the" manual review of high-risk reservations identified by our risk-detection models. " This will help to identify suspicious reservations and. "Stop unauthorized parties before they start."
Last week, reporter Allie Conti released an investigation into a scam that created multiple fake Airbnb profiles, posted inaccurate collections, and put last-minute guests under pressure to move into homes they did not reserve. Many scammers, including Conti, were only frustrated when they approached Airbnb for support and reimbursement.
"More than eleven years after Joe, Nate and I started Airbnb, I was asked what surprised me most about the world, my answer is that people are basically good and we're 99 % equal, "said Chesky on Wednesday. "We still believe that, and hope to continue to demonstrate this with these changes in the world."
Here is Chesky's entire email to employees:
Subject: In the Store of Trust
Airbnb is a trusting business. When we started Airbnb in 2008, people said it would never work. "Strangers will never trust each other," they said. However, we felt that people are fundamentally good and that we can develop a system in which strangers can trust each other. Our real innovation is that we do not allow people to book a house. It creates a framework in which millions of people can trust each other. Trust is the real source of energy that powers Airbnb and has allowed us to scale our platform to 1
But recently events of bad actors on our platform took advantage of this trust, even in a house in Orinda, California. We will do our utmost to learn from these incidents when they occur.
People need to feel that they can trust our community and that they can trust Airbnb when things go wrong. Today we are taking the most important steps in designing the trust in our platform since our original design in 2008. Our update includes four solutions.
Immediately begins the review of all seven million entries at Airbnb. Houses are checked for the accuracy of the listing (including the accuracy of photographs, addresses and listing details) and quality standards (including cleanliness, safety and basic amenities of the homes), and those that meet our high expectations are clearly identified. By December 15, 2020, every home and host will be reviewed by Airbnb for 100% verification. We believe that trust in the Internet starts with verifying the accuracy of information on Internet platforms, and we believe that this is an important step for our industry.
From December 15, 2019 If you fail to meet our accuracy standards when checking in to an offer, Airbnb will rebook the guest with the same or higher value, or you will receive 100% of your money back , Most hosts do a great job, but guests need to feel that Airbnb has their back, and we believe this commitment is a necessary step to give guests peace of mind.
Airbnb Neighbor Hotline:
We are opening a new 24-hour Neighbor Hotline so that anyone can call us anytime, anywhere in the world and reach a real Airbnb person. We will staff this hotline with a quick reaction team so neighbors can directly contact us with their concerns, and our phone number will be on our homepage, in our app and easily on Google. We are developing a training program and protocols for our rapid response team, and have asked Charles Ramsey, former head of the Philadelphia and Washington DC police department, and Ronald Davis, former head of the East Palo Alto police department and President Obama's executive director for community-oriented police services. to advise us. It will be launched in the United States until December 31, 2019 and will be rolled out globally in 2020.
High Risk Human Review:
In response to unauthorized house parties beginning on December 15, and information from past pilot projects, we are expanding the manual review of high risk reservations identified by our risk models across North America with global adoption by 2020. In this way, suspicious reservations can be detected and unauthorized persons stopped before they begin. For example, we consider the duration of the stay and listing attributes, such as the size of the listing, among hundreds of other factors. The risk assessment helps us focus our attention and find the needle in the haystack.
With these additional safeguards, we will work with our community of guests and hosts to strengthen the trust platform we have built with our community. The world is moving at the speed of trust, and the more confidence there is, the more access we can all have. Airbnb is based on trust and our vision depends on us building on this in our community.
More than eleven years after Joe, Nate and I founded Airbnb, I was asked what surprised me most about the world. My answer is twofold: that people are indeed good from the ground up and that we are 99% equal. We still believe in it and hope that we can continue to demonstrate this with these changes in the world.