Airbnb Outlines New Policies to Combat Accusations of Racism

The company published a report on Thursday titled, 'Airbnb's Work to Fight Discrimination and Build Inclusion.'
8:08 | 09/09/16

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Transcript for Airbnb Outlines New Policies to Combat Accusations of Racism
It's the popular past tag that triggered a social media firestorm. Air B and V while black frustrated users of the home sharing site claiming they were refused accommodations. Because of their skin color. Now facing a class action lawsuit today the company acknowledging the issue for the first time and pledging to battle discrimination fat on. Here's ABC's sunny Hostin. Feel at home and he where it's the room and home sharing site whose slogan is be long anywhere. Many users have been feeling anything but as well aimed and that because overall world and ruled it sucks. 23 year old cortina Crittenton. Ignited a social movement under the hash tag air B&B while black when she took to Twitter voicing how in. Possible it was to book a place in Miami former girlfriend get away. Every single nice days that I fat. Had the worst excuses in the world as to why they why accepting me. Cortina believed she was repeatedly denied buying homes because of the color of her skin so what she tweaked her profile picture she says her suspicions were confirmed IT's Manning to teen and and then I put up a photo of the city school in Chicago once that happened and never hanging sheen's drinking anyplace and beam me. Users posting hundreds of similar incidents are under the hash tag. Air. Some users claiming to where they're army uniform just hoping to avoid rejection others commissioning their friends to book places for them. And then there was this coast in North Carolina. Blatantly rejecting a black user with a racist rant and messages dropping me and word and adding. This is the south Darlington. Air B&B permanently bans that hosts the CEO. Calling the comments were unacceptable and on a service like air didn't need where it's you're not necessarily automatically match the person has some discretion about accepting you are rejecting you. It invites the kind of discrimination that we've seen for a long time in accommodations. But the stakes were raised after this man Gregory Celtics filed a class action lawsuit against air BNP. The Virginia user claiming a host rejected him because he's black. A suit that is still pending. Caribbean blue house and hell's boring place and mountain. Today for the first time the company is formally acknowledging. That discrimination is very real problem on the platform confronting the issue. Head on. I think these complaints have been going on for. Awhile and that company founders admit that they were slow to respond in a meaningful way. Now releasing a list of recommendations. Aimed at fighting discrimination. By making photos less prominent on the site. Making host signed a community commitment. To hiring fifteen to monitor bad behavior. This is a woman air B&B has hired to fix it former Washington DC ACLU head Laura Murphy this team is. Being given the latitude to be creative to come out. With ways of detecting discrimination. And I think that this is really an exciting innovation. And a paradigm shift for. The Silicon Valley company. This comes at a time when air been beast population continues to storm there are more than two million listings worldwide and over sixty million people have books spot since it first launched in 2008. The site's popularity attracted new couple Terrence and Victoria out when they were looking to book a three month European tour. They decided to update their profile picture we had become an official couple she wanted to bath represented in us they say it was when the couple switched their profile photo from one of Victoria alone. Tim this photo. That rejections began to trickle in. Being a blonde white woman this isn't something that I come across every day so he would say to me. I think it's because the profile picture maybe you should consider taking it down and obviously not all that's definitely not there yet Allen not I don't picks up. After suspecting that the photo was indeed to culprit the couple claims they went on to report a number of host to air BNB for alleged discrimination. Honestly it's not you know our responsibility and figure out how they can achieve that but I mean that's their responsibility. Today the company says they're doing just that act. Air beam me day feel very strongly. That people should feel a sense of belonging. Anywhere that they travel but some say they're proposed solutions may not be enough to fight bias among users. A study released. Earlier this year by Harvard Business School showed that request it by profiles with what the researchers deemed distinctively black sounding means. Got 16%. Fewer positive responses been neat steamed white sounding. The Internet is not a utopia its move reflects the same sorts of social bias he's that we see in the real world. All car wash so is a professor at Princeton University focusing on race and technology. Professor washed out argues that on demand sites do have the potential to fight discrimination the. They have the data on how people using their service and they can use that to surface that sorts. Discrimination that is otherwise often quite invisible. Mobile right sharing app Hoover has actually taken on that age old frustration people of color often experience hailing a taxi. We are going to request our Gruber. The apps interface makes it harder for drivers to refuse passengers on the basis of their race or they're destination. So Leslie what information do you get good yeah I just. Just to add just sue where you should arrive yeah what's nice about what's happening on whom Bernard is that there's new discretion or. Driver or passenger. In this kind of instant matchmaking and they've reduces the amount of discretion. Where either party could discriminate against the other. But sites like air being. We are built on personal information. People really want to know about you and what your interest are what you like to do why you're traveling. And so is the mortgage information are going to die votes the more likely you are to get booked on their game. Scott Shepard would know he's an Ambien be super host who has made. Hundreds of thousands renting properties on the site he says he doesn't discriminate but notes the screening process can be complicated. I don't think discrimination under the NBA's as simple as a black and white issue discrimination occurs for many reasons Specter before for gender. For aids for nationality people don't want to be hosting. Young backs are parties. But he says air B&B does offer an option to land to rental with out getting screened by the host the instant book button. That means it rebook just like a hotel would no pre booking communication. Or discrimination possible. The company is doing a great deal of investment in instant book. In part because it's a good business model but also in part because it really helps them intercept. Discriminatory. Conduct. That the company is seen. Earlier today we check did with cortina. My guess you know not being the crown when ER. EE loopy. Eat and eat option arm and that there is me or the world lies the end. To create environments their recent warm and these deals out. Cortina Crittenton says she spoke with Laura Murphy herself. Alan Light from might reach CDC. But anger is heat. A good first step she says but she wants to wait for November 1. When the policy has put into practice. For Nightline I'm sunny Hostin it New York City.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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