This past summer, a viral TikTok showed an Airbnb listing for an “1830s slave cabin” and rightfully caused outrage among viewers. Now, Airbnb says people will no longer be allowed to rent out homes where enslaved people used to live.
Last week, Airbnb announced its “Prohibiting the Glorification and Marketing of Slavery” policy, which bans listings of any residences on plantations.
The new policy, which applies to US properties, was developed with input from historic preservation architect Jobie Hill and following discussions with Color of Change, a racial justice organization that urged websites to stop promoting wedding content that romanticized plantations back in 2019.
Evan Feeney, a deputy senior campaign director for Color of Change, said Airbnb’s new policy was an “industry-leading prohibition on the glorification and marketing of slavery” continuing with, “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.”
The Panther Burn Cottage that went viral is located on Belmont Plantation in Greenville, Mississippi, and was removed by Airbnb back in August 2022 following an apology from both the company and Airbnb host for the insensitive listing.
This announcement comes alongside Airbnb’s admission that an audit of its platform showed that travelers perceived to be Black faced lower booking success rates than any other racial group.