Hundreds of people are expected to travel to Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend for a far-right rally protesting the city’s decision to tear down a Confederate statue — that is, if they can find a place to stay.
At least two people planning to attend the Unite the Right rally on Aug. 12 claim Airbnb canceled their bookings and deactivated their accounts because of their views, according to Gizmodo.
One user who was allegedly banned shared screenshots of an email from Airbnb, saying the decision is “irreversible” and will apply to any other accounts they attempt to create in the future. The e-mail also states that the company isn’t obligated to “provide an explanation” for deactivating the accounts.
“After a routine review of your Airbnb account, we regret to inform you that we’re no longer able to support your account due to a violation of our Terms of Service,” the e-mail reads.
In a statement to Gizmodo, AirBnB said that it does remove users who violate its non-discrimination clause. The “Community Commitment” was instituted in November 2016 to stop hosts from discriminating against guests based on gender, religion or race.
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.
While Airbnb conducts background checks on both hosts and guests, it’s unclear how it could determine a guest’s political leanings or plans for an intended booking.
The Charlottesville rally is being held to protest the town’s decision to tear down the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Richard Spencer, the white nationalist who’s led previous protests…