In his series Adam Ruins Everything Adam Conover has taken on weddings, the Oscars, even drinking water. Exposing the lies and common misconceptions we all hold. Basically he's the guy who turns everything we like into something miserable. In a recent episode he took on Airbnb, that darling of the sharing economy.
The service, if you don't know, lets people rent out their apartment or house for people who are looking to stay there for a short period. The idea is that they become ad hoc hoteliers and can earn a little money while they themselves might be going on vacation and their home is empty.
But, not everyone is using it in quite so innocent a way, as Conover reveals. Not only are people abusing the system to rent out apartment blocks that should be used for social housing, but protection for both the renter and the person staying is also lacking.
Conover recounts cases where people's homes have been affected by flooding toilets causing $10,000 worth of damage—Airbnb isn't legally liable and so only paid a minimal payout. There's also been one death from carbon monoxide poisoning because homes are unregulated.
He also notes how one renter refused to leave and so the occupants were left with effectively a squatter. Equally he points out that, unlike hotels, Airbnb has no discrimination policy. So people can be refused just because of their ethnicity, which seems like a step backwards, not forwards.
None of it paints the company in a good light.