Startups that redefine social and economic relations pop up in an instant. Lawsuits and regulations lag behind. While my family may be the first guests to speak out about a wrongful death at an Airbnb rental, it shouldn’t exactly come as a surprise. Staying with a stranger or inviting one into your home is an inherently dicey proposition. Hotel rooms are standardized for safety, monitored by staff, and often quite expensive. Airbnb rentals, on the other hand, are unregulated, eclectic, and affordable, and the safety standards are only slowly materializing. To be fair, Airbnb has always put basic safeguards in place, like user reviews. But its general approach to safety is consistent with Silicon Valley’s “build it first, mend it later” philosophy.
Cutouts is an open source application. Code licensed under the MIT license. Copyright 2018 Siddharth Kannan