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CBS Local — White supremacists have been banned from making reservations and renting out spaces on Airbnb, and permanently denied access to the platform, Airbnb’s co-founder said Tuesday.
Prior to Saturday’s white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Va., Airbnb co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk said the startup cancelled reservations made by certain users after the company was notified of a large gathering of white supremacists in the area.
“We make every one of our users sign a pledge when they sign up that they will not discriminate and exhibit hatred,” Blecharczyk said on Bloomberg TV. “Whenever we become aware of such examples they are permanently banned from platform.”
Suspected white supremacists’ Airbnb accounts were deleted before the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville erupted into violence, and were told that they violated the startup’s Terms of Service, according to user screenshots shared on Twitter.
In a statement obtained by Gizmodo, an Airbnb spokesperson said the company issued the ban because they “would be pursuing behavior on the platform that would be antithetical” to the community policy, which requires “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.”
Airbnb has previously updated its policies to prevent discriminatory actions by hosts, and implemented a complaint system for neighbors of loud or disorderly guests in May 2016.
But the latest actions taken by Airbnb appear to mark the first time the company has actively intervened preemptively against guests making reservations instead of only hosts.