RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Neighbors and homeowners want to make sure Airbnb homes don’t become party houses, and for Halloween, Airbnb is taking extra steps to do that.
The company is using artificial intelligence to stop bookings it thinks are for Halloween parties.
“Peace of mind for our hosts and the neighborhoods in which we operate is incredibly important to us, which is why disruptive and unauthorized parties are banned on Airbnb,” said Airbnb Head of Trust and Safety Naba Banerjee. “Since we’ve introduced this party ban in August of 2020, we’ve seen a global 55% year-over-year decrease in the rate of party reports.”
The company said it looks at hundreds of signals related to the booking that show a higher risk for a party, including length of trip, distance to the house, and whether it’s booked last-minute.
Michelle Vega owns several Airbnb homes in the Triangle and is happy with the precautions the company is taking.
“All of that is definitely necessary,” Vega said. “I mean, for our properties, we usually like to see at least two night minimum stays. Very rarely do we approve just one night.”
Vega said she has some horror stories, including when someone booked an Airbnb she owns in Durham and threw a party.
“I didn’t really believe it,” Vega said. “Well, I didn’t believe that they were going to go to the extent of charging entries, like I’m telling you, they had a huge line down the block of people trying to get into this house party. So, it’s crazy, it’s really crazy.”
She said the people destroyed the house, and both Airbnb and the police got involved.
Airbnb said through Halloween, it will block certain one-night and two-night bookings for entire homes. The company said last Halloween it blocked about 5,400 people from booking homes in North Carolina.
Airbnb said any guests who throw a party could be banned from the platform.