Airbnb, the online marketplace and hospitality service, recently took down accounts associated with a white supremacist rally happening this Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The company expressed discomfort allowing users to host individuals attending the rally. After a few users flagged a hateful post that one supremacist posted, Airbnb investigated the situation. They have a history of banning racist members in the past. Last June, Airbnb banned a user who cancelled on a guest because the woman was black.
They also laid out an initiative that would combat racism and promote a friendly platform that did not promote hatred toward any race, skin color, or denomination. Summarized in a 32-page report, the company explained thoroughly that all members had to agree to a community commitment which requires that each member treats their guests with respect and without judgement.
Their non-discrimination policy was developed with the help of former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and “prohibits content that promotes things like racism and bigotry.”
Airbnb took action against the racist post and posted the following statement regarding the issue:
“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 supremacist rally was put together by individuals affiliated with the site, The Daily Stormer. Many people showed their disapproval for the rally is expected to take place in Charlottesville on Saturday, August 12th.
The right to free speech obviously allows such an event to happen, but Airbnb has shown retaliation and a voice of equality with their proactive banning.