Project Lighthouse recognized by the Tech Spotlight at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center

Airbnb’s mission is to create connection and belonging. To achieve this mission, we must continue fighting discrimination and bias on our platform.

As part of this ongoing work, Airbnb developed Project Lighthouse in partnership with Color Of Change and with guidance from civil rights and privacy organizations. Project Lighthouse uses a first of its kind privacy-centric method to help Airbnb identify and work to eliminate disparities in how Black users and other people of color experience Airbnb.

This work is focusing on a range of challenges including – but not limited to – guests’ experience booking a listing and features that help Hosts capture the economic benefits of home sharing. We look forward to sharing updates regarding our work later this year.

We’re proud to share that Project Lighthouse has been recognized by the Tech Spotlight at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center as a technology that seeks a more inclusive, fair, and safer future. We know that  Project Lighthouse will help make our platform stronger and offer insights that help others in the tech industry who are working to fight bias and discrimination online and off.

Project Lighthouse is one of many steps we have taken to make our platform more inclusive. In the last few years, we’ve made several changes to Airbnb to help fight discrimination, including:

  • Profile photo protections: Guests’ profile photos aren’t displayed to hosts until after a booking is confirmed, which encourages more objective decision making by hosts.
  • Objective bookings: Instant Book allows a listing to be booked immediately, making the process easier for hosts and better ensuring the process is objective for guests. Millions of listings can be booked this way, with more being added all the time.

We have more work to do, and we will continue doing so with guidance from civil rights experts and our community.  

For more information, visit Project Lighthouse , and Tech Spotlight to learn about this initiative.