This Saturday on August 12, Charlottesville’s Lee Park will be the meeting place of the Unite The Right rally, a get-together of far-right personas and their supporters. However, their gathering might not go smoothly as they hoped it would.
Airbnb, a company enabling people to lease or short-term rent lodging, has taken steps to delete the accounts of some members it believes are staying in Charlottesville, Virginia for the event, thus obstructing organization of accommodation for planned guests such as members of the National Socialist Movement. According to screenshots circulating on Twitter, it seems that the users have been banned for violating Airbnb’s Terms of Service if it appeared they were booking places in Charlottesville in order to attend the rally.
Canceled my account with airbnb pic.twitter.com/CBwhN6lB0s
— Cracker Factory (@EarthBoisRDumb) August 6, 2017
The far-right users started speculating online during the weekend about the likelihood of a clampdown against everyone coming to Virginia to attend the speeches of people such as white nationalist Richard Spencer, failed Buzzfeeder gone fundamenalist Baked Alaska, Augustus Invictus, a once aspiring senator and author of works such as Future or Ruin: The Argument for Eugenics, and others in front of a statue of a Confederate general.
The company has not tried to hide its intentions, which were confirmed to Gizmodo by an Airbnb spokesperson:
“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.”
The company suspects several listings in the immediate area were booked with the intention of holding parties for the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer, whose staff have publicly announced their intention to attend Unite The Right rally.
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