Airbnb is blocking all reservations in the Washington, DC metro area during inauguration week after regional officials asked people not to travel to the city due to concerns of additional violence. The company said it was aware of reports “regarding armed militias and known hate groups” attempting to travel to the region to disrupt the inauguration.
Existing Airbnb reservations in the area are being canceled, and Airbnb is blocking any future bookings. Guests will receive full refunds, and Airbnb says it will pay hosts what they would have earned for canceled bookings.
Reservations made through HotelTonight, a hotel reservation site owned by Airbnb, are also being canceled.
“Due to the unique circumstances surrounding the 59th Presidential Inauguration, including last week’s violent insurrection as well as the ongoing and deadly COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking the extraordinary step of encouraging Americans not to come to Washington, D.C. and to instead participate virtually,” DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said in a joint statement on Monday.
Airbnb said yesterday that it was working to ban members of the mob that attacked the Capitol from using its platform. The company now says it’s issued bans for some people who were either part of the mob or associated with known hate groups.
Major online platforms have been reviewing their policies ahead of the inauguration next Wednesday, concerned that their services may be used to help organize another attack. Facebook said Monday it is blocking the term “stop the steal,” while Apple, Google, and Amazon have removed distribution of the right-wing social media app Parler over its failure to moderate.