Airbnb May Cancel 'Unite the Right' Protesters' Accounts - NBC4 Washington

Airbnb May Cancel 'Unite the Right' Protesters' Accounts

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    Airbnb May Cancel 'Unite the Right' Protesters' Accounts
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    File photo of hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the "alt-right" march down East Market Street toward Emancipation Park during the "Unite the Right" rally August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    Airbnb says it may remove accounts of users who plan to participate in the "Unite the Right" rally in D.C. on Sunday.

    A spokesperson for Airbnb told News4 in an email that the online housing service will "take appropriate action, which may include removing them from the platform."

    “We acted in advance of last year's horrific event in Charlottesville and if we become aware of similar information we won’t hesitate to do so again,” spokesperson Nick Papas said. 

    Airbnb cancelled accounts and bookings from Unite the Right protesters ahead of the 2017 rally, NBC News reported. One woman died and others were injured when a driver rammed into a crowd of counter-protesters at the rally.

    DC Businesses Prepare for Unite the Right

    [DC] DC Businesses Prepare for Unite the Right

    Businesses in D.C.'s Foggy Bottom neighborhood are preparing for the Unite the Right Rally as huge crowds of protesters and counter protesters are expected to swarm the area. News4's Erika Gonzalez reports.

    (Published Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018)

    Papas told News4 that everyone who uses Airbnb must agree to their terms of service, which includes agreeing "to treat everyone in the Airbnb community—regardless of their race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age—with respect, and without judgment or bias."

    Papas said that the site can remove users if it finds them violating those terms of service.

    It was not clear how Airbnb will identify users who are connected to the rally.

    Unite the Right organizer Jason Kessler called for a boycott of Airbnb in response to the company disabling accounts last year. 

    "Would Airbnb cancel the service of black nationalists or Black Lives Matter activists for their social media activity?" Kessler said last year in a NBC News article. "Of course not!"

    Some listings near the Unite the Right protesters' meeting point of Vienna Metro Station in Fairfax, Virginia, report that there is an increase of up to 58 percent of people looking at the neighborhood for the weekend of the rally.

    The website for Unite the Right tells protesters to stay with trusted friends and not let strangers know where they're staying.

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