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Not everyone is happy with Airbnb’s new initiative.
Users of the homesharing site recently shared screenshots of an email they received from the company announcing a new program allowing them to send “kindness cards” to hosts. These cards will allow guests to send a nice message and, if they chose, a monetary donation to someone who may have lost a significant source of revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Based on the reactions shared to Twitter, however, not everyone appreciated Airbnb’s gesture.
In an email sent to guests, Airbnb announced that users could send “kindness cards” and include monetary donations, USA Today reports.
The email reportedly said, “Like all of us, hosts on Airbnb are impacted by COVID-19, and many of them are unable to welcome guests. Now more than ever, it’s important to reach out and support one another—even in small ways.”
The message continued, “Today, we’re introducing a new way to connect with your favorite hosts. Now you can create personalized kindness cards that make it easy to send a message of appreciation or encouragement, with the option to add a contribution. We hope these cards will make hosts smile, and bring a little joy your way.”
Users on social media complained about the concept of having to donate to hosts, with one user writing, “Sorry orphans and cancer scientists, I can’t donate any money cos it’s all going to the most worthy cause of all — needy Airbnb landlords.”
Another user explained, “Airbnb is asking people to donate their money … to Airbnb hosts. People who keep multiple houses empty while the rent market is undersupplied and thousands are homeless.
Some apparently felt like the request wasn’t taking into consideration the fact that many guests are struggling, too. As one user put it, “This is nuts. C-19 is tough on everyone, but I can’t imagine anyone with free money to give out of kindness for past business transactions, however nice they were.”
One user compared this move to other ill-conceived attempts to respond to the pandemic, writing, “Congratulations to AirBnB on finding something even more tone-deaf than Gal Gadot’s celeb ‘Imagine’ video — making a donation to AirBnB landlords.”