White nationalists who planned to visit the city of Charlottesville for a “Unite the Right” rally were disappointed when Airbnb blocked a few of their accounts. Jason Kessler, organizer of the rally, called on fellow White nationalists to boycott Airbnb for what he calls discrimination for “ethnic advocacy,”  although “White” is a racial, not ethnic,  categorization. On Monday, a spokesperson for Airbnb released a statement saying that all users sign commitments to non-discrimination, according to the Washington Post.

For Airbnb, Kessler’s boycott may actually be positive press. The company has recently made headlines for plans to address its race problem, which includes home owners refusing rentals to people of color and corrupt landlords breaking short lease laws to rent spaces in Black and brown neighborhoods. Airbnb has also partnered with the NAACP to attract more Black homeowners to capitalize on its services and make the site a safer place for people of color.

Since Airbnb cannot closely monitor the discriminatory behavior of all of its users, it depends on its community of users to report discrimination. The company reserves the right to investigate each user and take action if it determines that the users are in breach of the community commitment.


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