(And Even More) Home Share Commentary

A Response to Hearst Publication’s Yellow Journalism: The San Francisco Chronicle’s Hit Pieces on Home Sharing

DragonflyHill’s Emma  Rosenthal, who eats trolls for breakfast, has taken once again to blasting holes in articles talking down home sharing.  Here she takes on Hearst publication, the San Francisco Chronicle, which published a series of articles this month,  against home sharing.

While their comment section was turned off, for these articles, Emma posted her commentary on the facebook page  here and here  of the newspaper, when they posted their articles.

The comments on this article seem to be turned off on your webpage. That said,

I am a home sharing host who lists on airbnb, a company that is successful because it does what so many others also do, but better. One could also list their home share in your classifieds, but perhaps not with the same result. You are attacking a competitor. Low play.

Your title is yellow journalism. Manifest destiny is about conquest. Allowing small businesses to list on your web page, a practice currently vulnerable to the will of zoning ordinances and the hotel industry lobby is hardly sufficient by comparison.

And your first sentences is also yellow journalism.
“Everyone I know who has rented out a room or an in-law unit on Airbnb has a horror story.”

Anyone who ever worked for a major hotel chain has a horror story.
Anyone who ever taught in the public schools has a horror story.
Anyone who had a paper route has a horror story.
Anyone who ever drove a taxi cab has a horror story.
Anyone who ever attended public schools has a horror story.
Anyone who has had room mates has a horror story.
Anyone who has ever lived alone has a horror story.
Anyone who has raised children has a horror story.

I rent out rooms in my home, and yes, I do do it for economic necessity. I would imagine the writer of the article works for your paper out of economic necessity. Most people work out of economic necessity, so unless this is a call for non compulsory work for mere survival, it’s a very strange and dishonest conclusion.

Unless this is a call for people only working jobs they love, it’s a very strange conclusion.

That said, I LOVE HOME SHARING. As gigs go, it’s a blast. I love meeting people and sharing my home with them. I love being able to work out of my home and being part of my community. I love sharing my city with visitors and providing temporary accommodations to people who are here for work, or in between housing.

We use a keyless entry system and change the codes between guests, but it is amazing that there are so few stories of break ins and robberies given how many people in so many listings have had the same keys to the same dwellings. It might just restore our faith in humanity and help us overcome our stranger danger fears.

And we’ve had a few bad guests. I can reach a real person at Airbnb at 2 am if I have a problem with an Airbnb guest. I doubt a listing in your classified provides such a horror story remedy. We’ve been successful at removing problem guests, especially if they have violated our rules. And when there were damages, we’ve been able to be refunded by airbnb’s protection. But we’re talking less than a handful of guests out of the thousands of people we’ve welcomed into our home, our community and our city.

If the city criminalizes home sharing, can I get a job with the San Francisco Chronicle? Out of economic necessity and all.

We also want to draw attention to this response, on another blog, by blogger Peter Kwan

The Reality of Home Sharing


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s