Airbnb announced Monday that it will be reviewing reservations in the Washington, DC area ahead of the president’s inauguration next week and will ban any guests associated with hate groups or violent activity. The move comes as some city officials ask Airbnb, VRBO, and other landlords to delete their listings by the end of the inauguration on Jan. 20.
“There is no guarantee that your guests will not be subjected to violence,” said Janeese Lewis George, a member of Washington city council, in a post on Twitter. “Please protect your neighbors and the district from further attacks.”
Airbnb has had a policy since 2017 of removing guests confirmed to be members of hate groups when it blocked guests attending a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Airbnb said it will warn all guests in the Washington area that it could take legal action against them if they are members of hate groups or if they plan to engage in violent activity. Hosts are also encouraged to call a helpline if they suspect guests are violating Airbnb’s policies.
Airbnb said it also bans from its platform anyone who committed crimes in last week’s riot in the U.S. Capitol. The company said it was using arrest records to determine who should be removed. The company wouldn’t say how many people it had removed so far on Monday.
The San Francisco-based shared apartment company also said Monday it would not make political donations to Republicans who voted against confirming the election results last week. Airbnb has shared this position with Marriott, AT&T and others.
Airbnb’s Political Action Committee donated $ 866,519 to candidates and political parties in the 2020 election cycle, according to Open Secrets, which monitors campaign fund donations. Democratic President-elect Joe Biden was the largest recipient of Airbnb donations