Proposition F, the local government initiative to restrict short term rentals in San Francsico, failed in that city elections yesterday.
Needless to say, AirBnB is pretty happy about this but the problems of unaffordable cities will continue.
Update: Emboldened by their victory in San Francisco, AirBnB now intends to roll out ‘community groups‘ to fight regulations across the US.
Airbnb says it will provide resources and some infrastructure to these local groups but expects hosts and guests to ultimately run them as the clubs proliferate in the same “grassroots” manner that Airbnb itself has grown. The clubs are meant to organize and advocate for home-sharing with their local city councils and elsewhere in the community. When pressed, Lehane declined to specify how much, exactly, Airbnb would spend on the clubs.
This overt politicising – it’s hard to call it ‘astroturfing’ when the company is so open about it – is interesting on a number of levels and it illustrates shows how the promise of renewed community engagement and activism through the internet has been usurped by corporate interests.