Monday, February 15, 2016

AirBnB dumped illegal rental data

From Curbed:

Back in November, in an attempt to prove that it's okay with transparency (and that its users are all above board, despite evidence/criticism to the contrary), Airbnb released a year's worth of data that it had accrued on listings in New York City. The data revealed many things about NYC hosts—including that many of them are operating illegal listings—but a team of independent researchers is now alleging that those facts weren't entirely accurate. The website Inside Airbnb (founded by Murray Cox) released a report alleging that Airbnb tampered with the data that was made publicly available, deleting as many as 1,000 listings in an attempt to "paint a misleading picture" of its NYC operations.

The report, compiled by Cox and tech writer Tom Slee, is compiled from two different sats of data using Airbnb listings going as far back as 2013. By doing so, they were able to compare the information that Airbnb made available to journalists in November to the site's data on a typical day/week/month, and the results were fairly damning. According to the report, "Airbnb ensured a favorable picture by carrying out a one-time targeted purge of over 1,000 listings," and used the days immediately following that purge as representative of its operations. The listings that were deleted were for "entire home" rentals, which have been targeted by critics as being the biggest source of illegal activity on the site.

Cox and Slee also poked holes in other data that Airbnb made available, including the statistic that "95% of our entire home hosts share only one listing"; according to their findings, that was true for "less than two weeks of the year." They allege that this was all done in order to make the company's dealings look better to journalists, who were presented with a very specific data set to analyze.


Anonymous said...

Where do the Queens legislators stand?

One of the reasons there is a lot of resentment focused on Queens is that our 'representatives' continuously undercut efforts in the other boroughs to clean up real estate in the city (or force them to exempt Queens to pass legislation - which in the long run bites everyone in the ass because those back door loopholes makes every initiative futile.)

Anonymous said...

So Air B&B is full of hot air? Naturally!
I have heard about personal experiences RE Flushing sites.
Horrific conditions...shuffling renters in the middle of the night to an alternate room that the renter had no choice but to take.
Their previous , but nicer room , was in a basement.
They were moved to a garage space because the host needed their more spacious basement room for a higher paying guest.
You put your welfare, possessions , perhaps even your life on jeopardy in some of these spaces.
In the case of the Flushing renter, their possessions were moved from the basement space to the garage space without permission, prior to their moing in. The host homeowner was, what else, Asian.
The renters were from the United Kingdom....English and Scott.

Anonymous said...

Can we now ban AirB&B from NYC.
This company uses shady tactics to fool users and landlords. Nuff Said !!

ron s said...

Fake data? I'm shocked!

JQ LLC said...

Airbnb is now confirmed as a criminal enterprise and have now worn out their welcome, as with UBER and the blowback protests from the ride rate decrease. Great job by these two muckrakers, who are the bernsteinn and woodward of the sharing economy (one of them currently wrote a book on it), although this manipulation was as amateurish as a stupid kid turning F's into A+'s on his or her report card.

They were asking for this too, especially in light of two "hosts" who were using apartments in mixed use buildings. Also that recent incident in a house where two people got shot.

The funny thing is this "start-up" is so widely used in Europe and Asia, it really doesn't need New York to make more profits.

Anonymous said...

Just like UBER, you can't regulate the internet. That means companies as well. You can however stop them from operating in your area.

Anonymous said...

The entire premise of AirBnB is to circumvent hotel operating, zoning, and saftey regulations. As a added bonus, they also violate lease agreements.

The government should go after AirBnB with the vigor is goes after the Pirate Bay and the Silk Road.

The entire reason the site exists is to break the law.

Anonymous said...

Has ANY Queens official commented on this, or even gave the impression that they are aware ... or even care?