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Airbnb looks to crack down on Memorial Day weekend parties

Airbnb's “anti-party system” is aimed at preventing people from using its platform to throw parties over the Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekends.Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

Airbnb is taking steps to crack down on people using its platform to throw parties over the Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekends in Boston and nationwide.

The “anti-party system” targets users without a history of positive reviews on Airbnb, the company said this week. Those would include users with negative reviews and new users to the platform. These guests will not be able to book homes for one-night reservations in the United States, and the company will restrict “certain local or last-minute bookings” for two-night reservations.

Airbnb is also requiring guests booking local reservations to confirm they understand the company’s party ban, a policy launched in 2020 that prohibits gatherings of more than 16 people as well as “all disruptive parties and events.” Users must attest that they recognize breaking this ban could result in legal action from Airbnb.


Airbnb has struggled with preventing its rentals from being used as party hubs in recent years. Last month, two people were killed at a house party hosted at an Airbnb rental in Pittsburgh, and parties at the short-term rentals have been a source of neighborhood complaints in some Massachusetts towns.

This is the first year that the anti-party policies will be extended to Memorial Day weekend. Airbnb says similar restrictions on one- and two-night reservations succeeded last year: In Boston, more than 600 people were prevented from booking entire home listings over the July Fourth holiday, Airbnb spokesman Ben Breit said in an e-mail. Nationwide, over 126,000 would-be guests were impacted by the anti-party initiatives over Independence Day weekend in 2021.

“We do not take these measures lightly,” the company said. “We also understand that the simple fact of not yet having reviews does not mean that a guest is trying to throw a party — this is a trade-off we are willing to make in the interest of trust and safety.”


Annie Probert can be reached at annie.probert@globe.com.