In February 2017, Airbnb released the video you see below.
It was shown during the Superbowl and the text reads:
“We believe no matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love or who you worship, we all belong. The world is more beautiful the more you accept.”
Airbnb stated in their accompanying blog that their goal was to provide short term housing for 100,000 displaced people via their community and hosting network. They also stated their intention for the company to donate $4 million over the next four years to the International Rescue Committee.
In addition, they pointed out that it was also their intention to continue to work hard within Airbnb to rid the company of hosts who have demonstrated prejudice and discrimination. In other words they are fully aware that they have to get their own house in order. Back in 2016 hosts had to agree to new terms and conditions that required them to be tolerant and not discriminate on the grounds of race, religious or sexual orientation/gender identity.
Yet ever since Airbnb published the video and had it shown as an ad during the Superbowl, journalists and bloggers have denigrated their efforts. Sadly, because Airbnb is a brand leader, knocking the company has become a popular pastime.
But since when has it been a problem for companies or individuals to give to good causes?
The three founders of Airbnb – Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk are members of the Giving Pledge – set up by Bill Gates in 2010. This group of wealthy people have all pledged to donate the majority of their wealth to deserving causes during their lifetimes or upon their death.
In recent years, Airbnb has coordinated short term housing for people affected by 54 disasters throughout the world and now the company is reaction to the current global situation facing refugees and displaced people. Because of this, the founders say:
It’s possible that a child today will grow up in a different kind of world, one where they’re accepted for who they are, no matter where they are. Because we really do believe that the world is a better, more beautiful place the more we accept each other.