By Jennifer Korn, CNN Business
Weeks after Airbnb said it would permanently ban parties at properties rented through its platform, the company is deploying so-called “anti-party technology” in the United States and Canada to help enforce the measure.
The new system analyzes a variety of factors, according to a company announcement Tuesday, including previous reviews, how long a user has been on the platform, the length of the stay and whether the rental is occurring on a weekend or weekday.
The goal, Airbnb said, is to “help identify potentially high-risk reservations” and prevent those users from completing a booking. Those who are unable to book homes as a result of the anti-party tech will have the option to reserve a hotel room or a private room (rather than an entire property where a host is less likely to be present) through the platform, Airbnb said.
Airbnb made its ban on all parties and events permanent in June, about two years after announcing a temporary prohibition. Initially, the company said the ban was to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 through social distancing efforts, as well as a response to pandemic bar and club closures pushing many Airbnb users to party in rented homes. But eventually, the company said, the move “developed into a bedrock community policy.”
Over the years, Airbnb has had to confront headlines about violent incidents taking place during parties at rental properties. In April, for instance, two teens were killed and several people were injured at a party thrown in an Airbnb-rented property in Pittsburgh.
Airbnb said there was a 44% year-over-year decline in the rate of party reports in June, which it attributed to the policy change.
Airbnb has been testing similar technology to address the issue in Australia since 2021, with a 35% decline in unauthorized parties following the rollout, according to the company. Airbnb said the pilot in Australia was so effective that it is now becoming permanent in the country and the company is “hoping for similar success” in North America.
After announcing a temporary ban on parties in 2020, Airbnb implemented a similar system focused on users under the age of 25 who were booking rentals locally and did not have positive reviews. The company described its newer anti-party technology as “more robust and sophisticated.”
“We anticipate that this new system will help prevent more bad actors on our platform,” the company said, “while having less of a blunt impact on guests who are not trying to throw a party.”
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