Meet the Public

The Story of Airbnb’s Nightmare PR Fail Becomes a Trilogy With Victim’s Third Blog Post

ej The Story of Airbnbs Nightmare PR Fail Becomes a Trilogy With Victims Third Blog PostThe traveler who blogged about the worst Airbnb renting experience possible responded to the recently-enriched company’s attempt to make amends after initially attempting to quiet her and then pass the buck. The blogger, who lives in San Francisco, and has given interviews to USA Today and the San Francisco Chronicle but otherwise spoke publicly only via her blog, emailed Betabeat on Monday to say she’d have a statement this week. Today she responded to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky’s public apology and announcement of new security policies–“Our Commitment to Trust and Safety“–in a post of her own entitled, “How I feel today.”

I was at one time a victim of an awful crime, doing my best to cope. Today, in addition to that, I have unwittingly and unexpectedly become the target of an onslaught, being called a liar and much, much worse by both public and anonymous figures who have no first-hand knowledge whatsoever of the very decent person I am, nor any knowledge of what has transpired in the past several weeks. All of this has exponentially confounded the trauma I already felt, and has taken its toll both emotionally and physically, subjecting me to utter hell. So while Mr. Chesky’s public apology to me is clearly a heartfelt one and certainly appreciated, and while I applaud the steps that Airbnb is taking to fulfill its commitment to safety and security, the reality for me is that the hardship continues. As will, no doubt, the nasty comments and unwarranted name-calling that have been thrown in my face.

EJ emailed Betabeat yesterday to say she is no longer comfortable speaking as a public figure and would prefer to speak through her blog, where she has written a 4,700-word saga that began with the sentence, “I am crouched low on the carpeted steps of my apartment building’s old staircase, bent over into something resembling the fetal position.”

At least she’s running a Google ad on her blog, which thanks to the traffic from Hacker News should help defray the costs of Bagel Bites and bus tickets while she rebuilds her abode. Or maybe she should consider another two words: book deal?

Follow Adrianne Jeffries on Twitter or via RSS. ajeffries@observer.com