New York – State Senator Liz Krueger released the following statement today in reaction to two reports about Airbnb. The first report, written by independent watchdogs, reveals that the company created a misleading set of numbers, removing over 1,000 listings in a one-time purge before allowing reporters and officials limited access to their data in November. The second report, paid for by Airbnb and produced with full access to the company’s data, relates to Airbnb’s claims about its impact on the hospitality industry:
“It’s an outrage to see these two reports coming out on the same day. Clearly Airbnb is willing to make all their data available for propaganda purposes, but they only offer doctored and misleading numbers to officials trying to enforce the law and protect affordable housing for regular New Yorkers. This kind of obstructive and duplicitous behavior is unacceptable from any company, particularly one that claims to look after the best interests of average people.
“Mark Twain reminded us that there are three kinds of lies — lies, damned lies, and statistics — and Airbnb has certainly mastered the third kind. Far from being open and transparent, the independent report shows that the company intentionally misled the press and elected officials in New York. The data clearly disproves Airbnb’s perennial argument that they want to work with city officials, fight illegal hotel activity, and remove “bad actors” from their site. Instead, it appears the company took extraordinary one-time measures to manipulate data and make themselves look good on just one day in just one city.”
“In spite of their claim to champion the interests of “regular” people, Airbnb’s business practices encourage tenants and landlords to break the law, put their neighbors at risk, and contribute to the ongoing crisis of affordability in our city. If Airbnb really wants to work with the community, they should cooperate with city enforcement officials and ensure their users obey the law.”