I was reading these articles about AirBnB and I came up with a new term to describe the treatment that people on our side experience. We have had “protected classes” since the advent of so-called anti-discrimination laws which means the group of people who have a statutorily prescribed status that penalizes discrimination against them. Now we also have “persecuted classes” (VDARE.com, American Renaissance, et cetera) a class which was informally created by the unholy alliance of journalists and the Left (JournoFa) and refers to political dissidents who JournoFa demand must be proactively discriminated against. Businesses will actually be publicly shamed for not discriminating enough against persecuted classes.
These two polar opposites came into focus by reading these schizophrenic articles about AirBnB where JournoFa complain that the business is discriminating against former felons (currently a protected class in many states) and “sex workers” (soon to be a protected class if the Far Left gets their way) but also complains that the company is not doing enough to discriminate against “extremists” or “white nationalists.”
- QZ.com: Airbnb is grappling with how to treat people with criminal convictions
JoAnne Page, president of the Fortune Society, an organization that helps thousands of formerly incarcerated people re-enter society each year (and a previous employer of Peterson’s) said Airbnb’s current bans were “egregiously long.”… The Fortune Society is involved in a lawsuit against a New York landlord in which the organization claims that rejecting someone based on their criminal record is illegal because it is equivalent to racial discrimination. As part of the lawsuit, the group is looking at best practices in housing, which Page argues is an analogous field to Airbnb’s services. [More]
- Rolling Stone: Airbnb owns an algorithm that can scrub their platform of those who are deemed “untrustworthy” — and sex workers, for one, say this is just the latest instance of discrimination against them
When asked what Airbnb’s specific policy on sex workers was, the spokesperson said, “We do not allow sex work in Airbnb listings and have policies in place to enforce this rule” ... He declined to specify what these policies were, or how Airbnb determines that sex work is taking place at a listing, but a Medium post from 2018 by Airbnb’s global head of trust and risk management Nick Shapiro may offer some insight. In the post, Shapiro announced that the platform would be teaming up with the anti-trafficking organization Polaris to combine the “unique digital footprint” of Airbnb users with Polaris’ back-end data and analysis “to mine for signs of human trafficking in real time.” But trafficking is not the same as consensual sex work, and being a sex worker is not the same as using Airbnb specifically to do sex work; whatever screening methods Airbnb is using, it seems unlikely they’d be sophisticated enough to differentiate between those factors. [More]
- Gizmodo.com: Airbnb Doesn't Want White Nationalists On Its Platform—But How Hard Is It Looking for Them?
But how is that enforced? According to Airbnb’s website, every reservation is scored for risk using machine learning and predictive analytics, in addition to background checks when users first sign up. But those systems are designed to root out former felons and fraud, not neo-Nazis. Airbnb wouldn’t let us talk to the team responsible for hunting down and banning extremists, and the company doesn’t disclose the “hundreds of signals” that help it investigate suspicious activity, because it would compromise platform security. The simplest thing the platform could do would be to create a calendar of hate events and monitor those locations at those times. The Southern Poverty Law Center maintains such a calendar internally, according to a spokesperson. [More]