A report from Bloomberg details how Airbnb spends $50 million each year to pay for the aftermaths of crimes like rape and murder that happen at rented properties, and to allegedly keep the incidents out of the press.
The explosive story features stories from former employees of the company’s safety team, who dished on how they cover the costs of things like crime scene cleanup of dismembered bodies, rape kits, and funerals.
One example of a payout is how the company settled with a former guest who was raped at her New York Airbnb by a man with a set of keys to the place. They gave her $7 million in exchange for them to have no liability, as well as paying for her medical bills and flying her mother out to support her.
Another incident involves when five people were shot and killed at an Airbnb party in California in 2019. The company paid for the funeral services of the victim, but a lawyer for one family said “the only thing that really motivates them is the threat or potential threat of bad PR or a nightmare in the press”.
Nick Shapiro was the crisis manager for the security team. He previously worked for the CIA and as a security adviser to Obama, and said the situations at Airbnb were similar.
“This brought me back to feelings of confronting truly horrific matters at Langley [CIA headquarters] and in the Situation Room at the White House,” he told Bloomberg.
Clique, would you still stay at an Airbnb if you heard about these incidents?