December 8, 2015
“We believe that the Times owes it to its readers to make a greater effort to include even-handed policy reporting of Airbnb that captures opposing views, ” wrote New York City Council members Helen Rosenthal and Jumaane Williams, who are seeking to stiffen penalties against people who flout state regulations and run illegal hotels. The letter took issue with three recent New York Times stories: “Airbnb Pledges to Work With Cities and Pay ‘Fair Share’ of Taxes,” which appeared on November 11; and “Airbnb Says Data Dump Shows Misuse is Rare,” from December 3; and “Airbnb Releases Trove of New York City Home-Sharing Data,” which appeared on December 1. The latter story “did not include any comments from the many voices challenging the veracity of Airbnb’s data,” according to the councilmembers, and the Times “presented the story to its 21.7 million Twitter followers as a one-sided promotion of Airbnb’s perspective.”