Back in November of last year, five men were arrested in connection with the shooting deaths of five people in the San Francisco Bay Area.
This was made even more noteworthy because the house party in question was an Airbnb rental, and one that prompted CEO Brian Chesky to step up his efforts to "combat unauthorized parties and get rid of abusive host and guest conduct.”
Fast forward to July of this year, and the home-sharing company took another effort to prevent people under 25 with fewer than three positive ratings from having unauthorized parties.
Just one month later, the company has switched policies again and has banned partied worldwide. The company announced a Global Party Ban "on all parties and events at Airbnb listings, including a cap on occupancy at 16. This party ban applies to all future bookings on Airbnb and it will remain in effect indefinitely until further notice."
The company claims it has always taken steps to prevent unauthorized parties. It even has a 24/7 dedicated hotline for complaining neighbors. But now that we are nine or ten months into the pandemic, people are itching to go back to their normal lives. Unfortunately that's not going to happen any time soon.
According to Airbnb's announcement:
...In many large jurisdictions, public health mandates on gatherings have changed – and in some places swung back and forth in response to the changing rates of COVID cases – as have regulations on bars, clubs and pubs. Some have chosen to take bar and club behavior to homes, sometimes rented through our platform. We think such conduct is incredibly irresponsible – we do not want that type of business, and anyone engaged in or allowing that behavior does not belong on our platform.
Based on these developments, instituting a global ban on parties and events is in the best interest of public health.
I'm not sure why they chose the number sixteen as being an appropriate cap as opposed to say ten, but if this pandemic has taught us anything it's that for every reasonable measure taken there are at least three arbitrary ones.