As the anniversary of the violent rally in Charlottesville approaches, Airbnb is once again reminding users that anyone found to be in violation of its policy of non discrimination faces a possible ban from the service.
"When we identify and determine that there are those who would be pursuing behavior on the Airbnb platform that would be antithetical to the Airbnb Community Commitment, we seek to take appropriate action, which may include removing them from the platform," the company confirmed in a statement shared with Fox News.
"We acted in advance of last year's horrific event in Charlottesville and if we become aware of similar information we won’t hesitate to do so again."
The home-rental service further cited its Community Committment within the terms of service, which stipulates that users agree to “treat everyone in the Airbnb community — regardless of their race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or age — with respect, and without judgment or bias.”
The company’s announcement came just days before a second “Unite the Right” rally is scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C., and nearly one year after the Charlottesville rally on Aug. 12, 2017, during which protesters — including white supremacists — gathered to protest the removal of Confederate statues.
The groups violently clashed with counterprotesters and Antifa demonstrators, which led to the death of one counterprotester, and the injury of several others, when a car driven by James Alex Fields struck and killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer.
Airbnb made a similar announcement following the violent clash. A few days after the rally, Airbnb co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk told Bloomberg that the site had quietly rejected white supremacists from making reservations the week before, and began deleting suspected white supremacists’ accounts after they were informed of the gathering.
“We make every one of our users sign a pledge when they sign up that they will not discriminate and exhibit hatred,” Blecharczyk told Bloomberg. “Whenever we become aware of such examples they are permanently banned from platform.”
In 2017, Airbnb had previously banned a former host who refused to rent out a property in Big Bear, Calif., to an Asian-American woman because of her race.
Christopher Nulty, an Airbnb spokesman, called the host’s actions “abhorrent and unacceptable.” The host was also issued a $5,000 fine from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), making it the first such fine to be issued to a user since the DFEH partnered with Airbnb in 2017.