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Airbnb bans Capitol rioters, hate groups ahead of inauguration

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Airbnb said it will ban people involved in last week’s deadly Capitol siege from booking rooms on its platform as it ramps up safety measures ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration.

The vacation-rental giant also pledged Monday to cancel any reservations that people associated with hate groups made in the Washington, DC, area in addition to giving them the boot.

The actions came amid growing concerns about President Trump’s supporters causing more violence leading up to and on the day Biden is sworn in. The FBI has reportedly warned that armed protests are expected at all 50 state capitols plus the US Capitol from this week through Jan. 20.

Airbnb said it checks its membership logs for Capitol rioters whenever it learns about someone who’s known to be involved in last week’s “violent criminal activity.” Any of those people with an Airbnb account is banned after an investigation that includes a cross-check with the DC Metropolitan Police Department’s arrest records from the day of the insurrection, the company said.

“We will be communicating to all booking guests to the Capitol Region that if we learn that they or their additional guests are members of hate groups, planning violence or violating our policies or terms of service, we may bring legal action against them,” Airbnb said in a statement Monday.

US Park Police walk near the Washington Monument.
US Park Police walk near the Washington Monument on January 11, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Getty Images

The San Francisco-based company added that it will remind hosts they can report suspicious guests to its urgent safety line. There’s also a hotline for DC-area residents to report concerns.

Airbnb has banned members of hate groups such as the Proud Boys since the 2017 white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, where one person was killed.

Airbnb shares were up 1.1 percent at $149.82 as of 12:44 p.m. Tuesday.

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