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Airbnb carbon monoxide detector mandate would be ‘very difficult,’ CEO says, despite deaths

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said the company works to respond to customer complaints and security concerns, but there are limits to what it can do to protect customers from problems. such as carbon monoxide poisoning.

In an interview with Hallie Jackson, which will air Sunday on “NBC Nightly News,” Chesky spoke about a wide range of issues facing the company, including consumer concerns about fees, the new “Icons” program of the company and a recent “Saturday Night Live.” sketch that confused the company.

“It didn’t sting,” Chesky said. “I felt like, you know, we had a huge responsibility. We are part of the culture. Brand is a noun, a verb used all over the world.

Airbnb remains arguably the most successful company in its class of sharing economy companies, which have grown from start-ups to publicly traded companies over the past decade.

But Airbnb has also faced criticism over its user experience and concerns over guest safety.

See this interview on “NBC Nightly News with Hallie Jackson” tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. CT.

Jackson asked about an NBC News investigation that found 19 deaths on Airbnb over the past 10 years, allegedly due to carbon monoxide poisoning. After some of the first deaths surfaced, the company pledged to make it mandatory to install carbon monoxide detectors in every home by the end of 2014, but that requirement was never implemented.

Responding to a question about the mandate, Chesky said, “It’s very difficult to verify whether or not a property has a carbon monoxide detector, but we work very, very hard to make sure every property has an address verified. You understand where the place is, if there are any complaints about the property we can address them.

Airbnb operates in countries and states with a wide variety of carbon monoxide regulations, presenting a significant compliance challenge for the company. The company says it has advocated for regulation of carbon monoxide detectors in many countries, but family members of people who have died in Airbnbs say the wide variability in local and international regulations is another reason for it. The company sets its own standard for carbon monoxide detectors.

“It’s really difficult to impose things in 220 countries, regions and cities around the world,” Chesky said. “And then, if you impose something, you have to have a mechanism to verify that it happens.”

Asked if he was backing away from the commitment the company made 10 years ago, Chesky said, “I don’t know. I think we’re absolutely going to try to make the whole platform safe and verified.

Over the past 10 years, Airbnb has made other efforts to try to integrate carbon monoxide detectors into its listings, including handing out a free carbon monoxide detector to every Airbnb host upon request. But participation in the program appears low: Only 2.3% of its 7 million active listings received carbon monoxide detectors through the program, according to a company release in June. The company also sends notices to users who book listings without a carbon monoxide detector, alerting them via email of potential risks.

A 2018 study published in the journal Injury Prevention found that only 57.5% of U.S.-based Airbnb locations were listed as equipped with carbon monoxide detectors.

“There is a very good question: is a mandate the right approach? » Chesky said. “But what is absolutely the right approach is to make sure that every ad is safe. Every person is safe.

Looking ahead, Chesky said the company wants to take advantage of the rise in artificial intelligence technology to help power its platform.

“What if an app could understand you, know your hopes, your dreams and personalize those routes just for you,” he said. “This is what AI can do.”

News Source : www.nbcnews.com
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