Lodging website Airbnb is permanently deleting the accounts of users they believe may be travelling to Charlottesville on Saturday to attend the Unite the Right rally.
The company is claiming that by attending the right-wing rally, users are violating their terms of service. In a statement provided to Gizmodo, the company confirmed that they are removing users that they believe are “antithetical to the Airbnb Community Commitment.”
The statement reads:
“In 2016 we established the Airbnb Community Commitment reflecting our belief that to make good on our mission of belonging, 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. We asked all members of the Airbnb to affirmatively sign on to this commitment. When through our background check processes or from input of our community we identify and determine that there are those who would be pursuing behavior on the platform that would be antithetical to the Airbnb Community Commitment, we seek to take appropriate action including, as in this case, removing them from the platform.”
The Airbnb Community Commitment is an agreement that users must accept to use the service and was implemented last year after a flurry of complaints about racism by hosts. Gizmodo notes that this appears to be the first time that the agreement has been preemptively used to ban guests.
The speakers at the event are certainly no strangers to controversy, with a lineup that includes Richard Spencer, Timothy Treadstone — better known as Baked Alaska, former Libertarian Senate candidate Augustus Invictus, Pax Dickinson, and Mike Enoch.
The Facebook event page states that the Unite the Right rally was planned “in response to the Alt-Right’s peaceful demonstration in support of the Lee Monument on May 13th, the City of Charlottesville and roving mobs of Antifa have cracked down on the First Amendment rights of conservatives and right wing activists.”
The statement adds, “they have threatened our families, harassed our employers and tried to drive us from public spaces with threats of intimidation. We are not afraid. You will not divide us.”
While many on the right loudly oppose the views of some of the speakers — Airbnb’s actions have started an intense debate about when it is okay to refuse people service. The left constantly demands that private businesses do not have a right to refuse to provide goods or services based on their religious beliefs, for example — baking cakes for gay weddings — yet they seem to believe that it is okay to refuse people service if their political ideas are in contrast to their own.
#UniteTheRight: Be there or be a communist.
(I'm the red segment with the Eagle, Wreath, & Fasces) pic.twitter.com/S5Cbrv8YXN
— Augustus Invictus (@EmperorInvictus) July 10, 2017
“Of course private companies should have the right to deny service to anyone they wish: that is the right wing position,” Invictus told Big League Politics. “But these are exactly the same people who cry ‘NAZI’ every time the right-wing says exactly that. The hypocrisy is unbelievable.”
Additionally, the company’s action raises the issue of privacy — and how exactly Airbnb is investigating their users’ political affiliations and travel intentions. Also, with the right and the left not even in agreement about what classifies as racist — or what the word even means — what metrics are they using to decide who should be permanently banned?
“The question is how Airbnb decides who is racist and who is not. How are they looking into every person who makes reservations in the city? This is Soviet-style investigation, which should concern every American, left-wing or right,” Invictus said.
When asked by Big League if the rally is a “neo-Nazi” event as reported by various media outlets, Invictus laughed and said “this is a rally to unite the various factions of the right-wing into one mass movement. To call that a ‘neo-Nazi rally’ is the height of disingenuous.”
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President Trump Rejects Paying For Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Private Security
The royal celebrities will foot the bill.
President Trump made it clear on a Sunday tweet that British royals Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would have to pay for their own security costs upon moving full-time to the United States, clarifying that they wouldn’t receive federal security under an existing arrangement that covers British royals temporarily visiting the US.
I am a great friend and admirer of the Queen & the United Kingdom. It was reported that Harry and Meghan, who left the Kingdom, would reside permanently in Canada. Now they have left Canada for the U.S. however, the U.S. will not pay for their security protection. They must pay!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2020
The royal celebrities have distanced themselves from the Queen, apparently viewing themselves as victims of relentless paparazzi and media attention.
Harry and Markle initially moved to Canada after resigning from the royal family, but they’ve recently moved to Hollywood just before the Canadian border was closed to nonessential travel due to the Chinese coronavirus epidemic. The elitist couple apparently plans on reinventing themselves as American-style celebrities, and have hired a small army of media consultants and public relations agents to market their image.
When information of their move to Los Angeles became public knowledge, many began to speculate if they’d recieve taxpayer-funded security in a manner akin to British royals visiting the United States on official state vists. President Trump’s Sunday tweet appears to eliminate that possibility.
The thirteen colonies that became the United States rebelled against the yoke of the British monarchy for a reason. President Trump’s decision to cut off the wannabee celebrities from publicly-funded security is a deeply American decision. The UK’s monarchy is one of the wealthiest legacy institutions in the western world, and it would be absurd to imagine that it can’t afford to hire private security for the ‘former’ royals, who are set to fully renounce their royal obligations at the end of the month.
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