Airbnb use AI to block bookings amid crackdown on Hogmanay parties

The booking platform has clamped down on potentially disruptive parties ahead of December 31.

Airbnb blocks 260 Edinburgh bookings using AI in New Year’s Eve party crackdown iStock

Airbnb is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to clamp down on people trying to book accommodation for potentially disruptive or unauthorised New Year’s Eve parties.

The booking platform has said it is bringing in restrictions around Hogmanay to reduce neighbourhood disruptions caused by parties at Airbnb-booked locations.

The firm said it was using AI and machine learning technology in the UK and several other countries that analyses hundreds of signals that could indicate a booking is a higher risk for this type of incident.

These include duration of a stay, how far the listing is from a user’s location, the type of listing and if the booking is being made at the last minute.

The system builds on the site’s existing global party ban.

Airbnb said the enhanced restrictions would block certain one to three night reservations for entire homes if the booking was identified by its systems as being potentially higher risk for a party incident.

Guests making local reservations will be required to confirm they understand that Airbnb bans parties before booking and that breaching this rule could mean suspension or removal from the platform.

Naba Banerjee, head of trust and safety at Airbnb, said: “When it comes to how we use technology like AI, we’re focused on taking a thoughtful approach that aims to benefit hosts, guests and neighbourhoods.

“We’re optimistic these measures will help have a positive impact on the communities we serve.”

The accommodation booking platform used anti-party measures around New Year’s Eve last year, and has revealed that around 13,200 people were blocked from booking on the site in the UK at that time.

The majority of those blocked bookings – 3,300 – were in London, followed by 2,100 in Manchester, 380 in Birmingham and 260 in Edinburgh.

The firm said that since first introducing party prevention measures for New Year’s Eve in 2020, it had seen a 73% reduction in the rate of party reports made to them in the UK.

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