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19th May 2016

Airbnb to be sued for alleged racial discrimination

This case is sure to dent a rise in their reputation.

Airbnb has grown extremely popular among holiday-goers and travellers alike.

The website was founded in 2008 for people to list, find, and rent lodgings. It has over 1,500,000 listings in 34,000 cities and 190 countries, however, this case is sure to dent a rise in their reputation.

An African-American man claims he was subjected to race-based discrimination while using Airbnb and has filed a lawsuit against the company in a Washington D.C. federal court.

The man alleges that Airbnb has routinely violated the Fair Housing Act and the civil rights of people of colour.

According to reports, 25-year-old Gregory Seldon was denied accommodation in Philadelphia in March 2015 due to his race.

PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 24: A view of the Airbnb Haus as Park City prepares for the 2016 Sundance Film Festival on January 24, 2016 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)Seldon states he was looking for housing while planning a weekend getaway with friends and turned to Airbnb as a cost-friendly option.

At the time, his Airbnb profile was linked to his Facebook, so it displayed his profile picture, race, education and age when he requested housing.

He claims an Airbnb host rejected his first application but then accepted the same application when Seldon re-applied using profiles imitating white men, one under the name ‘Jessie’ and another under the name ‘Todd’.

Seldon’s case is getting a lot of attention on Twitter with many people showing solidarity, using the hashtag #AirbnbwhileBlack: