Thousands of short-term rental hosts with listings on Airbnb and Vrbo have used closed Facebook groups to gossip about their guests, frequently sharing guests' personal information and photos, according to screenshots collected by the travel site Skift.
The gossip reportedly took place in at least two Facebook groups, titled "Airbnb Guests Blacklist" and "Airbnb Host Community — Vent, Recommend, and Discuss." The former group appears to have been removed by Facebook after it was uncovered by Skift, while the latter remains active.
Both groups were intended as places for short-term rental hosts to exchange information about guests they didn't like in order to warn other hosts, the screenshots show. In many cases, hosts would post names, photos, and other identifying information about guests — an apparent breach of Airbnb's community standards.
In one post to the group "Airbnb Host Community — Vent, Recommend, and Discuss," which has 16,715 members, an Airbnb host reportedly posted a photo and profile of a potential guest from the Philippines, along with a message from the potential guest that included information about his sexual orientation: "Hi. I would like to know if it's fine if I will bring a guy in one of my stays? Just in case I was able to hook up with any guys there? Thanks."
The host reportedly wrote in the Facebook group, "So I go into the app and I see this crap. I'm like 'Seriously Lil' Dude…like wtf? My finger went into the Decline button so fast that it felt like my ex-wife was calling. LMAO."
In another post, a woman reportedly shared a photo that she said depicted one of her guests urinating in her backyard, along with the guest's name, complaining that "these pigs cannot bother going inside to use the toilet and are peeing all over my yard."
An Airbnb spokesperson told Skift that the posts in closed Facebook groups violate Airbnb's community standards when they expose guests' personal information, like names or photos, adding that the company is reviewing the Facebook posts in question.
A Facebook spokesperson was not immediately to respond to a request for comment.