Airbnb has announced that it will no longer list rental properties where enslaved people used to live, including on former plantations.
In an anti-discrimination report released last week, the company banned listings of any residence on a plantation “if structures that existed during the time of slavery are still present on the property,” barred all properties that housed enslaved people, and prohibited renters from making “slavery-related features” as a selling point of a rental, per Buzzfeed News.
Educational tours and events relating to the history of slavery may be allowed on the platform “when undertaken with reputable partners and experts,” Airbnb said in the report.
The new policies were adopted with input from historic preservation architect Jobie Hill and Color of Change. Evan Feeney, a deputy senior campaign director for Color of Change, called Airbnb’s latest move an “industry-leading prohibition on the glorification and marketing of slavery” that he hopes other rental companies will follow suit.
“The only place now where plantations will be able to be listed [on Airbnb] is through specifically curated experiences that have historical value and are not meant to be a form of profit or entertainment," Feeney said.
Ben Breit, an Airbnb spokesperson, told BuzzFeed News the company already removed roughly 30 properties that violate the new policy and “will continue to evaluate cases as they arise."
The policy change comes after Airbnb faced backlash over a "slave cabin" listing in Greenville, Mississippi that went viral on TikTok.
Feeney said the listing was one of many on the platform that romanticized homes where enslaved people previously lived “as a place of happiness and cheer and like, good ol’ days."
“These places really should be remembered for the hardships and horrific acts that happened here. They should not be a source of profit and entertainment,” Feeney added. “Just the same way that we would be appalled if someone was trying to rent out concentration camps in Austria and Germany and Poland as summer getaways, we should be equally as appalled here in the United States when someone's trying to rent out houses where Black folks were enslaved for hundreds of years."