Airbnb starts deleting thousands of listings from ‘bad actor’ hosts before NY subpoena hearing

Posted Apr 22, 2014

Airbnb has started to delete dozens of listings on its website from hosts that have been accused of being “bad actors” and for running illegal hotel operations on the platform. Airbnb will be orally arguing at subpoena case in New York tomorrow. Airbnb public policy chief David Hantman is making a case about why its platform is valuable for New York.

Airbnb says it will generate “$768 million in economic activity in New York in 2014 and support 6,600 jobs.” Around 87% of Airbnb hosts “occasionally rent out only the property in which they actually live.” Airbnb is alerting hosts who are running virtual hotel operations from its website. When the New York Attorney General circulated a list of hosts with dozens of properties available in New York, Hantman sent out this e-mail that over 2,000 listings will be removed.

Earlier this year, we began notifying these hosts that they and their more than 2,000 listings would be permanently removed from the Airbnb community. While we are allowing these hosts to support their existing bookings, all are now prohibited from accepting new reservations and if you search for a place to stay in New York, you won?t find these listings.

In an attempt to distract from their vast data demand on regular New Yorkers, the New York Attorney General?s Office has circulated a list of Airbnb users with a large number of listings. Every host on this list that rents apartments has been notified that they and their listings will be permanently removed from Airbnb. That means they can?t accept new reservations. Their profile pages may still be available on our site, solely to support existing reservations. When their existing bookings end, there will be no trace of them on Airbnb.