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Airbnb Agent Pens Amazing, Hilarious Request To Remove Inappropriate Photo

Vacation rental service Airbnb proves this week that you can run a streamlined community-driven business and respond to its users’ gripes on a friendly case-by-case basis, contrary to what Facebook would like you to believe.

Facebook has been slammed countless times in the past for running an automated content-blocking filter that enables homophobes to effectively ban harmless LGBT-related content and the users who post it. Rather than respond to complaints individually, Facebook relies on a robot to make a judgement call on what is “appropriate” on the site.

But that’s not how Airbnb rolls, apparently. Though they operate under similar terms of service as Facebook, an Airbnb customer service agent named “Kristi L.” personally responded to a less-than-humble photo posted on the site this week, proving a little human compassion and friendly interaction can go a long way.

The photo in question (above) was posted by legendary New York event producer Daniel Nardicio on a page advertising his Fire Island cabana rental. It shows two go-go boys standing in the shower that comes with the property.

Kristi L. writes Daniel:

Dear Daniel-

I hope this message finds you well! My name is Kristi and I’m a specialist with the Trust and Safety Team here at Airbnb.

Okay, now that we’ve gotten that official introduction out of the way, your (admittedly, mesmerizing for my tastes) photo for this listing: [link] has garnered more attention than may be warranted for the listing itself. I’m a writer of m/m erotica and was very, um, pleased to see your photo, but I think it may be just outside of our current realm in terms of general non-risqué photos for listings. Again, not saying that I personally didn’t think it was captivating, but if you didn’t mind putting up a photo less visually – compelling – while still keeping the verbiage, some of us will sigh with disappointment, but it will also fit more soundly in our Terms of Service.

If you didn’t mind dropping me a line when you insert a different photo, I’d be grateful. Also, if you happen to know any friends with ringleted red hair, please let me know; my most recent writing submission could use a book cover.

In all seriousness (and the book cover part was serious!), I’m so glad you’re hosting with us, just want to ensure that the preliminary photos are showing more of the listing.

My warm regards,
Kristi L.

“In my line of work, I often get asked to tone things down a little,” Daniel tells Queerty, “but this by far is the best, kindest and funniest customer service letter I’ve gotten! Kristi L is an Airbnb employee I want to have a drink with!”

Customer service gold star for Airbnb right here! Somebody please get Kristi a raise, and more importantly, a hot ginger boy for the cover of her novel.

On:           Jul 23, 2014
Tagged: , , ,
    • Billy Budd

      But the photo doesn’t show no penis and no butt. Not even a kiss. Why is it forbidden?

      Jul 23, 2014 at 4:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Franco C.

      She wrote a very thoughtful letter. I wish more people put this much care into their work.

      Jul 23, 2014 at 4:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KirwanArts

      Such a great example for handling this situation. Sadly, it is also very labor intensive which is why far too many companies would not employ such a wonderfully thoughtful person. As for her cover image, she should contact artist Michael Kirwan (who is great with red heads) to have him create an original drawing of exactly the guy she envisions in her book.

      Jul 23, 2014 at 4:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tdx3fan

      @Billy Budd: My guess is that they don’t want to overwork their staff by creating a situation in which the staff will constantly have to deal with customer complaints. That is just common sense. This is a property listing site. I can understand that. If it was a couples site, I think the response would be very different.

      Jul 23, 2014 at 4:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sfbeast

      If you look at the airbnb ad now, they have cropped too much. The place also looks like a bit ummm grim.

      Jul 23, 2014 at 5:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • IcarusD

      @Billy Budd: I was wondering that, too, but then looked a little more closely. The photo about was cropped for Queerty, but below it is a caption with a link to the uncropped original. I personally think it’s fine, but I can see why AirBNB would want a slightly tamer version.

      Jul 23, 2014 at 8:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Geeker

      Those go-go “boys” are looking a little rough.lol

      Jul 23, 2014 at 9:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sanfranca1

      Nice, pleasant letter. However, she should revisit English class & verb tenses. Twice she says “if you didn’t mind”, which in the context of the letter, should be “if you don’t mind”.

      Jul 23, 2014 at 11:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • manonyme

      yes, it seems Kristi is not just a kind person, but someone who’s smart enough to understand how far generosity of spirit can get you. Being nice to people doesn’t always originate from a person with a decent moral compass. If you need people to do stuff for you/with you they’ll be more inclined just on account of you NOT being a d**k.

      I actually think the people in Customer Srvc.are kind and wanna be helpful, but it’s corporate policies and legal protections for the firm that leave the consumer with the short end of the stick…good read -thankx for sharing.

      Jul 24, 2014 at 6:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam

      Funny e-mail, good move on her part.

      Jul 24, 2014 at 10:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DaveNY

      @Billy Budd: Click to see the original. There is definitely dick. And everything, really, except actual peen itself. Cropped as it is for Queerty, it actually would probably be fine.

      Jul 24, 2014 at 11:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • montserrat

      @Geeker: haha I totally thought the same thing.

      Jul 24, 2014 at 11:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • crowebobby

      They’re go-go boys?!!!!

      Jul 24, 2014 at 12:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charlie in Charge

      Score a victory for reasonableness!

      Jul 24, 2014 at 12:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vive

      Maybe list the original on gaybnb.

      Jul 24, 2014 at 3:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Queer4Life

      Happy making all round.

      Jul 26, 2014 at 6:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • allegiance2none

      If they were fat ugly guys nobody would give a rat’s ass.

      Jul 27, 2014 at 5:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • flexika

      they have to go on the gay airbnb : misterbnb.com

      Jul 27, 2014 at 7:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • lalahead

      now that’s what I call a golden shower

      Sep 24, 2014 at 9:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jwtraveler

      My experience with airbnb was nothing like this, but I found their customer service to be inefficient, incompetent and dishonest. But then I didn’t have the pleasure of corresponding with Kristi.

      Nov 1, 2014 at 1:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • takingliberties

      I can’t believe that they’re go-go boys.

      Nov 1, 2014 at 6:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • EvonCook

      Actually this may simply be yet another ploy by AirBnB to get their name in the media. AirBnB may serve some needs, but there is no getting around that fact despite them spending big, major big bucks for PR that it is completely illegal for most apartments in New York AND Paris. All rent controlled and stabilized apartments in New York forbid using it to rent out short term your apartment, almost all co-ops and condos have rules forbidding the same practice because it is dangerous and troublesome for neighbors and residents alike. And in Pairs the French are even more protective of the limited housing resources for their citizens. AirBnB is fine if you OWN your own house and want to risk strangers being invited in. Now, Misterbnb.com sounds more interesting. By the way, when I clicked on the photo the two guys were holding towels and we not naked…that seems contrary to what others reported.

      Mar 12, 2015 at 2:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mujerado

      @Billy Budd: For a rental ad it really is a bit extreme. The man on the right is holding a cloth that drapes over his penis in such a way as to display it as much as it conceals it. I like it, but the men don’t come with the property, so it’s a bit misleading!

      Jun 11, 2015 at 4:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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