Airbnb banned neo-Nazis from booking places to stay in Charlottesville
Move along, neo-Nazis. There’s no room for your hatred at Airbnb!
This week, Airbnb banned neo-Nazis gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia as part of the Unite The Right rally from using the popular home-sharing platform to book accommodations in the city. After learning far-right rally attendees planned to take over area Airbnbs to host their hate-fueled happenings, the vacation rental service sent them packing, removing them from the website for violation of Airbnb’s community standards.
As outlined in the company’s terms of service, the Airbnb community welcomes “people regardless of their race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age.” Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, white supremacists! false
Users of Airbnb alerted the site of white nationalist rally-goers who were using The Daily Stormer, an online hub for all things hate, to coordinate lodging logistics at local Airbnbs. Once Airbnb confirmed white supremacists were in fact using the platform to book listings for events related to Ku Klux Klan-inspired rally, Airbnb moved to evict those users from their site.
In a statement to Gizmodo, Airbnb underscored its commitment to “make good on their mission of belonging.”
"In 2016 we established the Airbnb Community Commitment reflecting our belief that to make good on our mission of belonging, those who are members of the Airbnb community accept people regardless of their race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age. We asked all members of the Airbnb to affirmatively sign on to this commitment. When through our background check processes or from input of our community we identify and determine that there are those who would be pursuing behavior on the platform that would be antithetical to the Airbnb Community Commitment, we seek to take appropriate action including, as in this case, removing them from the platform."
Unfortunately, Airbnb’s efforts did not stop so-called alt-right extremists from descending onto Charlottesville. On Saturday, white supremacists and neo-Nazis flooded the streets of the city in protest of the removal of a statute honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Violence erupted as Unite The Right rally-goers clashed with counter-protestors, resulting in the deaths of three people and injuring several others.
For now, we’re just grateful Airbnb is taking important steps toward providing a safe space for ALL people to inhabit.