November 20, 2017

MYTHEOS HOLT: Silicon Valley’s ‘Terms of Service’ Hypocrisy.

Whenever a new abuse of tech’s power comes down the pike, such as locking users out of their private documents because those documents include “offensive” language, or shutting users out of their emails, or conspiring to block apps that favor free speech from their online stores, or targeting users of a disfavored political persuasion for bans, the justification given is always that the terms of service require it. Never mind whether those terms of service are fair or consistent with American legal principles.

So, it seems only fair to ask, do these same companies follow the rules they set for themselves? In at least one case, the answer is clearly “no.”

According to a report last week from a Los Angeles local CBS affiliate, the home-sharing giant Airbnb has permitted convicted felons to rent out homes using its service. There’s just one problem — Airbnb claims to do a background check on all its hosts to ensure this sort of thing doesn’t happen. And yet, one of the hosts implicated by the CBS report had this to say when asked if Airbnb was aware of his criminal history:

“I don’t think they even asked.”

It gets worse from there.

Read the whole thing.

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