The Kafkaesque experience of getting banned for life from Airbnb


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/12/20/the-kafkaesque-experience-of-g.html


#2

The good news is, based on the prices he’s charging for his (admittedly, quite nice) cat furniture, he can afford actual hotel rooms. Yikes.


#3

Cat furniture maker

I found the reason right here. Weirdo.

(I keeed. I keeed.)


#4


#5

As far as he can tell, it was because he wrote a review of one of his stays on Google, and Airbnb only allows reviews on its own platform.

Of all the stupid reasons for the company to ban him for life and invite this bad PR…


#6

Note that it was just speculation on his part. AirB&B never said why he was banned. There is a possibility he was doing something else like using a botnet to post fake reviews to lower the price/open availability on a desirable property that he wanted to visit. A lifetime ban over a single review seems a bit suspect.

AirB&B’s apparently policy of not telling you why they banned you is bullshit though. I get they’re trying to avoid feeding badguys too much information about their internal processes, but it’s awful for the innocent people who get caught up in the grindwheels. At the very least they could say something like “violation of EULA section 5, paragraph 3”.

Final note: that headline is so deep in the molehill it doesn’t even know what a proper mountain looks like anymore.


#7

And a possibility that he was doing nothing at all, but they mistakenly fingered him for doing something. e.g. someone on the same dynamic IP address did something six months previously.


#8

So I’d say any error in his speculation is on AirBnB since they are forcing him to speculate.


#9

My issue here is the chosen analogy; being banned from using AirBnB is in no way comparable to being ‘blocked’ from a significant other and a biological child that you think is yours.


#10

Well I’ve never been banned. I’ll just make a reservation in my name and send him in my place.


#11

Were he in the UK, or were someone in the UK to experience this approach, they would have pretty powerful options under the Data Protection Act to find out why the decision was made. Not much use here, but worth noting for others.


#12

Airbnb, Uber, insurance in general, all good ideas in theory but monstrous in practice.


#13

Regulation is how corporations are held to the rule of law. Those which fight it tooth and nail want power without any responsibility.


#14

An airbnb ban may be a molehill, but there are potential mountains on the horizon. Imagine being banned from Google or Apple’s ecosystems. It’s on the way to becoming an un-person in cyberspace.


#15

Without insurance most of commerce would grind to a halt. The pooling of risk is a very efficient and effective enabler of much of modern life. Not saying that SOME of today’s insurers and insurance models are not a bit broken, but ‘insurance in general’ is indispensable.

Of course, pooling of risk might be seen as being a bit socialistic in concept, so of course some US practitioners will seek to subvert it, and tarnish its name in the process. The original insurance models were entirely co-operative/mutual in nature - not corporations for profit.

/lecture


After #MeToo, whole industries have been blacklisted by insurers for sexual harassment liability coverage
#16

After using Airbnb for a decade, I’m kind’a curious of what exactly [details missing from the article] he did to warrant this action?


#17

He turned into a giant insect.


#18

I’ll rest easier knowing that. I suddenly have the urge to purchase bug spray…


#19

It’s funny. I do things all the time that I’m not obligated to to.


#20

The concept of getting banned from hotels or being put on the “DNR List” isn’t a new thing, though I guess AirBnB provides more ways that you can end up on this list than a traditional property, and traditional places to stay mostly care about safety, security, and getting paid, with a global DNR being less common.

Example of that at the Red Roof Inn: https://innlaunch.redroof.com/DocumentFiles/Refresher-Do_Not_Rent.pdf