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The sharing economy faces concerns about discrimination against consumers based on gender, race or religion.

Media have reported that African-Americans were refused Airbnb reservations. A recent study by two researchers published by Harvard Business School found that access in the sharing economy was not equitable due to racial discrimination and The Guardian reported discrimination by users of the Uber platform.

But such problems of discrimination are old problems surfacing in new contexts. Airbnb states in its Terms of Service that it does not tolerate “discrimination, bigotry, racism, hatred, harassment, or harm against any individual or group”. Although no one can legitimately blame the sharing economy as a space for discrimination, discrimination is obviously a problem that businesses and individuals in the sharing economy must seriously address.


It is obvious that despite the important strides made in the sharing economy, it is also fraught with many challenges.

Can you think of other challenges that the sharing economy has that have not been mentioned here?

Post your thoughts to the Comments area below. Comment on other learner posts and offer some ideas that can address these challenges.

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This article is from the free online course:

Business Futures: the Sharing Economy

RMIT University