In anticipation of today’s chaotic “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, representatives of various radical right organizations did what most travelers do these days: They booked a place on Airbnb.
Readers of white supremacist blog The Daily Stormer organized to book a large number of Airbnb accommodations for dozens of demonstrators arriving in the Virginia. But they were stopped by Airbnb itself, which then expelled those users from its platform.
“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,” a spokesperson for Airbnb told Quartz.
“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,” said the spokesperson.
Airbnb was alerted to the radical right group’s use of their platform by a thread on The Daily Stormer being used to organize their trip. The site then conducted case-by-case investigations to confirm which users were planning to attend the white nationalist event and deleted the accounts.
It’s not the first time Airbnb has banned users who actively discriminate against others based on those categories. In the past, the company itself has been criticized for failing to adequately counteract racism among users.