Airbnb's user ratings help curb social biases

Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky (Jeff Chiu / AP)

Airbnb users pay more attention to other users' reviews and profile ratings than they do to the social similarities between them, a Stanford study found. On average, users preferred hosts with high ratings over others that shared demographic similarities but had low scores.

The backdrop: Airbnb has implemented a series of changes to its platform to attempt to curb discrimination based on social biases, including removing user photos, which indicate race and gender, from the search listings page and asking users to agree to an anti-bias pledge.