UPDATED 8:35 AM PT – Sunday, January 17, 2021
Lodging app ‘Airbnb’ plans to review and cancel bookings as deemed necessary in the wake of planned demonstrations at the Michigan Capitol building.
On Saturday, the company announced the decision to axe Michigan reservations confirmed to be associated with “violent hate groups” in order to deter criminal activity. Meanwhile, local officials in Lansing have raised concerns about a potentially violent protest near the Capitol on Sunday.
Airbnb justified its actions by claiming “it was the right thing to do.”
“We’ve been removing violent extremists [and] neo-nazis really dating back to before Charlottesville in 2017,” Chris Lehane, Airbnb Senior Vice President for Global Policy and Communications, said. “It’s something that we’ve been doing on an on-going basis and those conversations just never involve how much is this going to cost or what the financial impact is going to be, even in the case like it really was, what’s the right thing to do.”
Airbnb officials said “prioritizing trust and safety” should be our guiding star right now. The company has also cancelled reservations in Washington D.C.
UPDATE: In response to various local, state and federal officials asking people not to travel to Washington, D.C., we are cancelling reservations and preventing new reservations in the Washington, D.C. metro area during Inauguration week. https://t.co/TwadjkJ98p
— Airbnb (@Airbnb) January 13, 2021
Local officials in Lansing are urging residents to stay home amid the planned unrest.