Economics/Class Relations

Your Airbnb is watching you

March 4, 2023
Hello, Insiders. We shared a great story from our economy team yesterday, exploring the ways companies are “quietly firing” (or pushing out) workers. Has this happened to you? Have you ever had to quiet fire someone? Let us know:

But it’s our Saturday edition, and we’ve got a ton of fascinating reads for you. Plus, we’re sharing your notes about the war in Ukraine. Let’s dive in.

— Nicholas Carlson


In today’s edition


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Airbnb and privacy

Getty; Marianne Ayala/Insider


Debate rages among short-term-rental hosts over security cameras.

While WiFi cameras give hosts peace of mind, they’re also stirring up anger among guests who complain about being watched by the pool, called out for inviting people to visit, or even harassment by hosts using two-way talk features.

Some renters are venting on social media about hosts telling them to get out of the pool at a certain hour, or scolding them for accidentally blocking cameras.

Hosts, for their part, sometimes empathize — but many defend the practice as necessary to stop their houses from getting trashed.



Boommates, AI politicos, & more

Eric Baradat/Getty Images; Drew Angerer/Getty Images; Alyssa Powell/Insider


  • AI-generated audio of Joe Biden and Donald Trump trash-talking while gaming is taking over TikTok. The profane, funny videos have become a hit meme — and they’re just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a larger conversation to be had about responsible AI content generation. More on the memes here.
  • You can live on a cruise ship. This week, we highlighted a cruise ship that will circle the globe for three years (and start at $30,000 per person each year). It’s part of an ongoing trend of people living on cruise ships. Check out the story of one woman who’s a “wife on board” to a cruise ship employee — meaning she lives on the ship for half the year.
  • Meet the “boommates.” Becky Miller and Marlene Mears are baby boomers who became roommates through the home-sharing platform Silvernest. It’s helped them cut costs, have the flexibility to uproot, and build a relationship. Here’s how it works.


Provocative professions

Witthaya Prasongsin via Getty Images


  • “My job went remote — so I got two more and started traveling the world in secret.” Sightseeing in London by day, working for the government by night. That’s what a day in the life of this worker looks like. Find out how they do it.
  • “I’m a cruise director for Holland America.” Kimberly Wells shared the pros and cons of working on cruises, from amazing moments with guests and incredible destinations to no days off. Read more.
  • “I worked in Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory.” A Tesla production associate told Insider they loved their job — but it had little to do with Elon Musk. Read about the perks of working on Tesla’s production line.


ChatGPT cover letter, free tickets, & more

  • Got $200,000 to spend on a house? See what you can buy in seven US cities.
  • A couple is suing a Hawaii snorkeling company for $5 million, alleging it abandoned them in the ocean on their honeymoon.
  • Dishes at the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant go for as little as $1.60. Take a look.
  • An employer says she caught a job seeker applying for a role using a cover letter generated by ChatGPT. Here’s how.
  • “Dr. Doom” economist warns a “perfect storm” of recession, debt, and out-of-control inflation is coming for markets this year.
  • A woman makes up to $9,500 a month renting out their home – while living in a trailer in the driveway. Dig into her strategy.
  • Hong Kong is giving out 500,000 free plane tickets. Our reporter shared her experience trying to get one.


Your entertainment planner

  • Stream “Daisy Jones & The Six” on Amazon Prime. The highly anticipated series, adapted from the popular book about a rock band, is out now. We spoke with stars Riley Keough and Sam Claflin – check out the interview here.
  • Catch “Creed III,” the latest in the Rocky series, in theaters. The franchise has been thrilling audiences since 1976 — here’s how to watch all nine of the movies.
  • Chris Rock is set to become the first person to perform live on Netflix tonight. The global streaming event “Chris Rock: Selective Outrage” airs at 10 p.m. ET. Check out the teaser.

World Wide Waste


Thin-plastic food wrappers make up half the garbage floating in our oceans, but they’re difficult to recycle. Can Indian seaweed replace plastic? Watch here.


US support for Ukraine

This week, I focused my notes on Russia’s war in Ukraine, one year on. On the topic of US support of Ukraine, especially Biden’s recent show of support and the split US public opinion, I asked what should happen next. Here’s what you told me:


  • “When you have friends and family in Ukraine, especially in parts that Putin claims are now Russia, it’s easier to see why it’s paramount to not attempt to appease Putin by negotiating until he leaves every square mile of land that is Ukraine.” – Name withheld on request
  • “Stay armed and improve defense, but support a ceasefire and continue to build economic sanctions against Russia.” – Jerry
  • “We just need to set a financial end to helping Ukraine. We can continue to give other kinds of support.” – Candy

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This edition was curated by Nicholas Carlson, and edited by Lisa Ryan, Dave Smith, Nathan Rennolds, and Jordan Parker Erb. Get in touch:

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