If you've used Airbnb in the last few months you might have noticed some changes in its interface. That is because the home sharing site is downplaying several features which, according to the company, may be enabling user discrimination.
The company has been experimenting "with reducing the prominence of guest photos in the booking process, and enhancing other parts of host and guests profiles with objective information," said Christopher Nulty, head of public affairs at Airbnb.
The most noticeable change is on the search listings page, which no longer displays photos of hosts alongside featured images of a home.
The modifications come three years after a Harvard study found that black hosts earn 12 percent less than non-black hosts on the site.
"There are specific types of features that allow for discrimination in an online environment," Michael Luca, a Harvard Business School Professor told CNBC recently. "Pulling the pictures off the front page of search results can have an effect on the decisions people make," he said.