Airbnb’s Big Purge in the Big Apple

Whoops – looks like Airbnb may have a little problem with the truth. The company has been caught in an attempt to mislead the media and the public by removing more than 1,000 illegal hotel listings from its site in November just before turning over the data to the public, the New York Times reports.

Of course, this is all hot on the heels of a drawn-out struggle to get Airbnb to provide data about its operations to the city, which is importation because, according to the NY Attorney General, 3 out of every 4 short-term rentals violate NYC’s laws. With much fanfare, the company made a version of that data available to the public in November.

But thanks to a report by and independent watchdog, Inside Airbnb, the company has now been caught red-handed. Airbnb tried to explain away the discrepancy by blaming a “busy marathon and Halloween weekend” rather than admit that they had lied to the public.

The AG’s office says it best: “Airbnb continues to show a blatant disregard for New York laws designed to protect the rights of tenants and prevent the proliferation of illegal hotels.” Ouch.

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