A TikTok exposing “an 1830s slave cabin” on Airbnb went viral in July 2022, sparking online outrage. Just over a year later, Airbnb announced that users would no longer be able to list properties that had previously been used to house enslaved people.
@lawyerwynton #airbnb this is not ok. #history #civilrights #americanhistory ♬ Blade Runner 2049 – Synthwave Goose
The new policy prohibits listing any structures built to house enslaved people.
Spokesperson of the company, Ben Breit commented on the situation. He assured everyone that every listing would be removed and every case would be closely monitored.
According to Janaye Ingram, the Director of Community Partner Programs and Engagement, said that Project Lighthouse will move the company in the right direction. Discrimination has no place in the world. This policy will serve as a sign of fair and secure housing for all Airbnb clients.
In 2019, the racial justice organization Color of Change called for websites to stop promoting content that glorified or romanticized former slave plantations. To develop the new policy, the organization collaborated directly with Airbnb.
The company responded quickly and removed the listing. They also issued an apology in a statement.
Brad Hauser, the property’s owner, apologized as well. He explained the situation and apologized to everyone offended by it.
Hauser said that he has no plans to re-list the property on Airbnb and that the listing and a now-private promotional video on YouTube were decisions made by the previous owner.
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Hauser’s properties are typically rented for weddings and other enjoyable events. It’s the polar opposite of the slave cottage house, according to Feeney.
AIR BNB RENTING OUT SLAVE CABINS‼️‼️‼️
— VoiceOfThePpl (@VoiceOfMyPpl) January 7, 2023
Feeney went on to say that because of the struggles and inequality that existed within these structures, everyone should remember them. This is how people can honor those who have suffered in the past.