Airbnb and Me

Airbnb Users Less Likely to Stay With Black Landlords, Study Says

Whoever the landlord is, PLEASE LET US LIVE HERE. (Airbnb)

Uh oh—we knew Airbnb was kinda sketchy, legally, but we also just learned that its landlords might face a bunch of racial discrimination from its renters.

Unlike with other online marketplaces, like eBay or Amazon, Airbnb’s design incorporates large profile pictures of its sellers. That design feature led Harvard Business School Professors Benjamin Edelman and Michael Luca to conduct a study called “Digital Discrimination: The Case of Airbnb.com,” wherein they evaluated how the race, gender, age and appearance of a landlord affected the prices of comparable listings in New York City. Read More

DIY Don'ts

Petition Objects to Etsy Profiting from Sale of Racist Dolls

Oh, dear. (Photo: Etsy)

It’s tough being a platform, especially one that wants to be open but maintain a certain community identity. In the last six months or so, questions have started to bubble up about whether Etsy can balance its DIY ethos with the demands of scalability. Even so, the DUMBO-based startup has kept intact much of its friendly, show-love-it’s-the-Brooklyn-way aura.

Which is why this Change.org petition (spotted here) against the sale of “Golliwog” dolls on the site is likely to make everyone involved feel a little awkward. Read More