Airbnb’s Dispute Moderation for Reviews
As the Airbnb community and product continue to grow, we remain committed to updating this policy when necessary to help ensure that reviews reflect the honest, first-hand experiences of our hosts and guests.
Removal of reviews
We believe that a healthy review system is one that respects and protects our community’s genuine feedback. For that reason, we take the removal of any review very seriously. You can read Airbnb’s Review Policy in full, but in short, this means a review will be removed if:
- The review is in violation of Airbnb’s Content Policy,
- The review is biased, or
- The review is irrelevant to the author’s experience on Airbnb.
Moderating for bias
Our community benefits most when reviews present an unbiased picture of the member’s experience. Airbnb removes reviews when they exhibit inappropriate bias – for example, because the reviewer is attempting to extort the person being reviewed, has a conflict of interest, or competes with the person being reviewed.
Extortion or incentivisation
Any attempt to use reviews or review responses to force a person to do something they aren’t obligated to do is a misuse of reviews, and we don’t allow it.
People who use Airbnb aren’t allowed to tie positive reviews to promises of compensation or to threaten negative reviews if a desired outcome is not met. Violations may result in the restriction, suspension or termination of your Airbnb account.
This policy prohibits:
- Guests threatening to use reviews or ratings in an attempt to force a host to provide refunds, additional compensation, or a reciprocal positive review.
- Hosts requiring a guest to leave a positive review or rating, or to revise a review in exchange for a partial or full refund, or a reciprocal review. Hosts also cannot offer a free or discounted stay in exchange for a guest revising an existing review.
- Hosts or guests asking someone to take specific actions related to a review in exchange for the resolution of a dispute.
This policy does not prohibit:
- A guest from contacting a host with a problem prior to leaving a review.
- A host or guest seeking refunds or additional payment and leaving a review – where that review is not used as a threat to sway the outcome of a resolution.
- A host from asking a guest to leave an honest positive review or rating reflecting a positive experience.
- A host or guest from revising a review within the time constraints for revision.
Why reviews can be left for reservations that require Airbnb intervention
When things go wrong with a reservation, hosts and guests have two options: they may request compensation (a refund or additional fee), and they may also share their experiences publicly in a review. In order to encourage fair dispute resolution and an unbiased review system, hosts and guests must be able to use both of these tools.
For instance, if a host has a guest that breaks a house rule, we want that host to share their experience with future hosts and Airbnb via the review. Additionally, there may be times that a guest breaks a house rule AND a host provides an unclean listing, so we don’t want to prohibit one party from participating in that feedback process.
That said, we will remove reviews in situations where we can determine that one party has attempted to extort the other to manipulate the content of the review. Additionally, if the review left after a dispute violates any of our content policies – for instance, it contains discriminatory content or a violent threat – the review will also be removed.
Conflict of interest
We will remove reviews where there are signals that the reservation was made for the sole purpose of inflating a person’s overall rating, or where we suspect that the stay never occurred.
Accepting fake reservations in exchange for a positive review, using a second account to review yourself or your own listing, or providing something of value in exchange for positive reviews, are not allowed. Violations may result in the restriction, suspension or termination of your Airbnb account.
Reviews written by competitors – for example, competing businesses, listings or experiences – for the purpose of dissuading others from booking those listings or experiences or driving business to other listings or experiences, are not allowed. Violations may result in the restriction, suspension or termination of your Airbnb account.
Moderating for relevance
Reviews provide community members with information and insights that help them make better booking decisions. Reviews are most helpful when reviewers accurately recount their experience and provide their honest opinions.
Where a review contains information that is unrelated to an experience as a host or guest, or is focused on something beyond the control of the person being reviewed, our moderation team will weigh the relevance of the review by assessing:
- Does the review recount the reviewer's experience and provide their personal perspective?
- Is the review helpful to other members of the Airbnb community? Does it provide essential information about a host or guest, listing, or experience that would help others make more informed booking decisions?
If Airbnb determines that the review contains no relevant information about a host or guest, listing, or experience, the review will be removed. Reviews that contain mostly irrelevant information are also subject to removal, but only where the otherwise relevant information would not be expected to meaningfully inform the booking decisions of other community members.
Examples of relevance violations and non-violations
Irrelevant: “Don’t trust the taxi drivers in this city, they take the worst routes!”
Relevant: “Don’t trust the taxi drivers in this city, they take the worst routes! On top of that, I arrived at this listing and it was in complete disrepair and the host never responded to my concerns.”
Irrelevant: “This guest was such a liar. There was no way she is a real doctor.”
Relevant: “The guest showed up late to check-in and then yelled at me for not waking up fast enough to let her in. She was rude and easily annoyed for the entire reservation. I would hate to experience her bedside manner.”
Moderating for cancelled reservations
Airbnb allows reviews for any reservation cancelled after 12.00am on the day of check-in. We do this to collect feedback on the most crucial moments of a travel experience, whether that means feedback about communication, house rule violations, issues with listing at the time of check-in, etc.
If you decide to leave a review for a cancelled reservation, we ask that you keep your feedback relevant to what you have personally experienced. In cases where Airbnb can confirm that a review was left for a cancelled reservation, and the review contains information irrelevant to our community (e.g. frustrations about a flight cancellation), the review will be removed.