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Airbnb allegedly purged 1,000+ New York listings to rig survey

The report was published by InsideAirbnb’s Murray Cox and Tom Slee, which states that the data Airbnb made available to the public on December 1, 2015 about the company’s business in New York City had been altered prior to publishing to make the company look better.

Removing over 1,000 listings showed authorities in New York City that Airbnb could have helped to appease New York City authorities who, according to Re/code, have been worried about “an oversupply of entire-unit Airbnb listings.” As New York City laws currently state, it is illegal to rent out an entire unit for 30 days or less.

Over a thousand New York listings removed from Airbnb website before the company took a snapshot it ...

Over a thousand New York listings removed from Airbnb website before the company took a snapshot it used for publicity.

“Airbnb’s rosy projections about the future of its business were not objective analyses based on historical trends,” reported Cox and Slee. “The company extrapolated from an artificial and unrepresentative one-time event. In the days leading up to November 17, Airbnb ensured a favorable picture by carrying out a one-time targeted purge of over 1,000 listings. The company then misrepresented November 17 as a typical day in the company’s operations.”

Cox and Slee regard this as a PR effort from the company and nothing else, as this only took place for the site’s New York City listings, and levels of multiple-listing entire homes have already jumped back to 13 percent of the total, only two months later.

An Airbnb spokesperson said, “Our community in New York has evolved to a point where 94 percent of hosts have just one listing and where there is no material presence of illegal hotels, which is why accusations from the same elected officials who called for there to be no illegal hotels on the platform and now want to fine middle class families $50,000 is akin to asking someone to walk on water and then, when they do, fining them for not swimming.”

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