Following reports that Airbnb may cancel the reservations of users linked with “hate groups,” Airbnb has announced that it will now cancel all Washington D.C. reservations during the week of the upcoming presidential inauguration.
Breitbart News reported earlier today that the online rental marketplace Airbnb announced plans to review reservations in the Washington DC area ahead of next week’s presidential inauguration and will ban any guests it believes are associated with hate groups or violent activity. City officials recently asked Airbnb, VRBO, and other rental hosts to remove listings until the January 20 inauguration is over.
Washington city council member Janeese Lewis George said in a Twitter post: “There’s no way to guarantee that your guests are not coming to incite violence. Please protect your neighbors and the District from more attacks.”
Airbnb stated that it will warn all guests in the Washington area that it may bring legal action against them if they are found to be members of a hate group or planning violent activities. Hosts are also encouraged to call a hotline if they suspect guests are violating Airbnb policies.
Now, Airbnb has announced that it will cancel all reservations in the D.C. area during the week of the inauguration, according to a recent blog post.
We have canceled all Airbnb reservations in DC for Inauguration week.
Guests will be issued a full refund and hosts will still be paid in full for these canceled bookings. https://t.co/K67zaRqdKJ
— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) January 13, 2021
The blog post states:
Today, in response to various local, state and federal officials asking people not to travel to Washington, D.C., we are announcing that Airbnb will cancel reservations in the Washington, D.C. metro area during the Inauguration week. Additionally, we will prevent any new reservations in the Washington, D.C. area from being booked during that time by blocking such reservations.
Guests whose reservations are canceled will be refunded in full. We also will reimburse hosts, at Airbnb’s expense, the money they would have earned from these cancelled reservations. HotelTonight reservations also will be canceled.
Airbnb’s work continues to be informed by inputs from our local host community as well as Washington, D.C. officials, Metro Police and Members of Congress throughout this week. In particular, Mayor Bowser, Governor Hogan and Governor Northam have been clear that visitors should not travel to the D.C. Metro area for the Inauguration. Additionally, we are aware of reports emerging yesterday afternoon regarding armed militias and known hate groups that are attempting to travel and disrupt the Inauguration.
We are continuing our work to ensure hate group members are not part of the Airbnb community. As we’ve learned through media or law enforcement sources the names of individuals confirmed to have been responsible for the violent criminal activity at the United States Capitol on January 6, we’ve investigated whether the named individuals have an account on Airbnb. Through this work, we have identified numerous individuals who are either associated with known hate groups or otherwise involved in the criminal activity at the Capitol Building, and they have been banned from Airbnb’s platform.
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