Airbnb says it will use new methods to spot and block people who try to use the short-term rental service to throw a party.
The company said Tuesday it has introduced technology that examines the would-be renter’s history on Airbnb, how far they live from the home they want to rent, whether they’re renting for a weekday or weekend and other factors.
Airbnb said the screening system that it is rolling out for listings in Canada and the United States has been tested since last October in parts of Australia, where it produced a 35 per cent drop in unauthorized parties.
The San Francisco-based company said the technology is designed to prevent a customer’s request for reservation from ever reaching the host of the property involved. Airbnb said people blocked from renting an entire home might be able to book a single room because the host is more likely to be around.
Worldwide party ban implemented in 2020
Airbnb has been under growing pressure to clamp down on parties since 2019, when a Halloween house party in a San Francisco suburb ended with five people dead in a shooting.
The following year, Airbnb announced a worldwide party ban at its listings and banned people under 25 from renting an entire house near their home unless they had a record of positive reviews on the site.
In 2020, the company suspended more than 40 listings in Ontario alone, targeting hosts who had received warnings, complaints, or had otherwise violated company’s party policy in the year prior.
Last October, a municipality in Quebec temporarily suspended short-term listings when an Airbnb party attracted over 500 attendees.
The party ban was initially cast as a temporary health measure during the pandemic, as more people moved from bars and clubs into rented homes, but was made permanent in June.