While Airbnb tries to fight off the New York Attorney General's subpoena for its hosts' records, it has launched a tidy astroturfing campaign to gather signatures to take to the state senate.
Yesterday Airbnb's New York users got an email from the company asking them to "make your voice heard" by signing a petition that was ostensibly created by a host named Mishelle. Mishelle lives in Williamsburg, served in the military, and is getting a degree in public policy. Ha Ha typical Williamsburg!
"[Airbnb is] helping me achieve my dreams by providing me with a source of income that makes it possible for me to focus my energy on preparing for a new career where I can help people through better public policy," Mishelle writes.
Won't you help her (and *ahem* Airbnb) achieve the dream of extra profits that we all sorely need?
Last week Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued the subpoena for the records of the roughly 15,000 hosts in New York City. Schneiderman's investigation is the first major step in an attempt to bring Airbnb in compliance with the law, including the enforcement of the hotel occupancy tax that so far the site and its users have skirted.
Mishelle promised to personally deliver the petition to Albany if it got 20,000 signatures. It currently has more than 21,000. When has a governing body been able to resist the pure civic might of an online petition?