Airbnb to ban guests associated with hate groups and violent activity ahead of grand opening
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Airbnb said Monday it was reviewing reservations in the Washington, DC area ahead of next week’s presidential nomination and would ban any guests associated with hate groups or violent activity.
The move comes as some city officials are asking Airbnb, VRBO and other rental hosts to remove their listings until the January 20 launch ends.
“There’s no way to guarantee that your guests don’t come to incite violence,” Washington City Council member Janeese Lewis George said in a Twitter post. “Please protect your neighbors and the district from further attack. “
Airbnb has had a policy of removing guests confirmed to be members of hate groups since 2017, when it blocked guests attending a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Airbnb said it will warn all guests in the Washington area that it could take legal action against them if they are members of hate groups or planning violent activity. It also tells hosts to call a hotline if they suspect travelers are in violation of Airbnb policy.
Airbnb said it is also banning anyone from its platform who participated in criminal activity during last week’s riot on the United States Capitol. The company said it was cross-checking arrest records to determine who should be fired. The company would not say on Monday how many people it had withdrawn so far.
The San Francisco-based home-sharing company also said Monday it would not make political donations to Republicans who voted against certification of election results last week. Airbnb joins Marriott, AT&T and others to take this position.
Airbnb’s political action committee donated $ 866,519 to candidates and political parties during the 2020 election cycle, according to Open Secrets, which monitors campaign finance donations. Democratic President-elect Joe Biden has been the biggest recipient of Airbnb donations.
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