Airbnb has a checkered history when it comes to its hosts using cameras to spy on their guests. In a viral video, TikToker claims to have found another example of a hidden camera at a vacation rental property.
The two-part video has gone viral since its publication, with the first video garnering more than 11 million views and the second garnering nearly 1.6 million views. In the first clip, TikToker Mitch Hollow (mitchollow) points out what appears to be a black wall adapter for charging phones, but says it’s actually a hidden camera.
mitchollow found a hidden camera in my rental bathroom #vrbo #hiddencamera #rental #airbnb #vacation #shower ♬ original audio – Mitch Hollow
He says the camera “was pointed directly at the shower in the bathroom that my girlfriend and I had been using all weekend.” Mitch transfers his phone from the charger to the shower area, showing the audience the direct view of the secret recording device.
Mitch claims to have stayed at several Airbnb and VRBO properties before, but has never encountered a hidden camera in his rental. He brings the charging adapter near his phone’s camera to show what he says is a small lens just above the USB port. He also says he thinks the charging block has been left by someone by mistake. When he noticed it “looks weird”, he unplugged it and noticed that it had a small memory card on the back.
In a second video, Mitch showed his fans the alleged footage on the secret tape recorder. “It’s pretty much what you’d expect,” he says, explaining that there were no footage from before his stay at the rental property, leading him to believe it was put there before he and his girlfriend arrived.
mitchollow hidden camera footage in my rental #vrbo #hiddencamera #airbnb #foundfootage #sdcard #part2 #pt2 ♬ original audio – Mitch Hollow
The footage supposedly found by Mitch on hidden camera shows a person using their phone in the bathroom and, separately, a blurry person taking a shower. Mitch also claims that the property management company said they didn’t know how the machine got there, as the rental has only been visited by a third-party cleaning crew in the past few months. Mitch allegedly also called the cleaning company, who denied any knowledge of the device.
“In the end, there’s really no way of determining how she got there, but we got your money back in full for our stay,” he says. He says he’ll probably leave the incident at that, but asks viewers to leave comments if they think he should take further action.
Now before anyone gets angry, it looks like the video doesn’t depict a real incident. Airbnb has a documented record of guests who have found hidden cameras, with this USA Today report also providing how to discover hidden devices. However, Mitch’s TikTok bio clearly states that the videos on his page are “produced for entertainment purposes only.” However, that didn’t stop viewers from sharing their thoughts.
“Looks like a lawsuit to me!” One comment said the creator liked it.
Many viewers suggested he call the police. Someone even urged Mitch to look for other hidden devices on the property. “Check your electric clock too. Use a flashlight to shine on it and the viewfinder will come out. They also said a smoke detector, if it’s in a strange place.”
After seeing the alleged footage from the hidden device in TikToker’s second video, several viewers tried to convince Mitch to make the accusations.
One user said, “Don’t leave it at that.” “Someone is lying. You owe it to the next victim to bring charges and get these people out.”
Surprisingly, some have expressed that landlords have every right to use hidden cameras.
One user said, “Yes it is [there] Because people steal things in the bathroom like towels.” He kept getting the rights of landlords to use hidden cameras saying, “Don’t rent an airbnb if you don’t like it.”
Another user shared his own experience using a hidden camera explaining, “I had one in my apartment! Let’s just say I don’t trust people.”
However, many people realized the fact that the video was not real. One user called Mitch. “Based on your account, you are doing technical reviews. I will assume this is your camera,” they said.
Just watch the other two videos. Another very skeptical user added, what a coincidence they also found a hidden camera.
The Daily Dot reached out to Mitch via a TikTok comment.
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*First Published: October 5, 2022, 5:56 PM CST
Natasha Dubach is a freelance writer and editor based in Los Angeles. She loves writing reports on entertainment, television, and pop culture.