San Francisco-based homeshare company, Airbnb, has done some much-needed maintenance on its host list. Last week they announced that over 60 white supremacists were banned from its widely used platform after receiving the names from leaked materials on the now-defunct neo-Nazi website, Iron March.
“We feel it is important to emphasize that anyone sympathetic with neo-Nazi ideologies have no place on our platform,” a spokesperson with the company told ESSENCE.
Iron March has been linked to several murders and acts of extremist terrorism, around the world. The data dump that revealed the usernames, email addresses and IP addresses of its users made it possible to identify racists on the site.
Over the last few years, Airbnb has worked to clean up its image after a number of users complained about experiences with the platform. It led to the hashtag #AirbnbWhileBlack.
In 2017, a video of Bob Marley’s granddaughter, Donisha Prendergast, being harassed by the Rialto Police department upon checking out of her Airbnb went viral. Along with a group of friends she was interrogated because a neighbor said they saw “three Black people stealing stuff.”
Over the summer, ESSENCE reported that a fellas trip to the Big Apple took a dramatic turn for the worse when a group of five Black men were kicked out of the Airbnb they rented. Their host was caught on camera called them “monkeys” and kicking them out at 2 a.m. in the morning.
“This was a no-brainer – when we see people on our platform pursuing behavior antithetical to our Community Commitment, we take action to prioritize the safety of our community, Airbnb said in a statement shared with ESSENCE about the recent purge. “Through our trust and safety systems, we are continuously seeking to proactively identify those who could put our hosts and guests at risk.”
In September, Airbnb released an update to their 2016 report titled Airbnb’s Work To Fight Discrimination and Build Inclusion and authored by Laura Murphy, civil rights activist, former Director of the ACLU legislative office, and current Airbnb senior advisor. The latest report measures the progress Airbnb has made since 2016.
The company has committed to removing bigoted hosts as they see fit. As far as white supremacists are concerned, Airbnb says “our community is a better place without them.”