Airbnb, Uber Plan to Ban ‘Unite the Right’ White-Supremacist Rally Participants
Alt-right rallygoers might find it difficult to get to this weekend’s second round of their infamous hate rally.
White supremacists headed to the D.C. area for Sunday’s Unite the Right 2 rally might have trouble finding a place to stay or a way to get there.
Room-rental service Airbnb confirmed this week to the Washingtonian that it may give the boot to users connected to the rally. Meanwhile, ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft both told the Washington Post that their drivers have the right to refuse service to passengers connected to the Sunday afternoon rally, slated to take place near the White House.
This isn’t the first time the tech companies have had to grapple with how to handle participants in the white-supremacist rally.
Ahead of last year’s deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., Airbnb moved to ban participants in the rally from using their platform. A day before that rally, two alt-right figures were kicked out of a D.C. Uber driver’s car after allegedly making racist remarks, and were eventually banned from the service.
The new crackdown from the three services represents the latest blow for far-right figures, who also face increasing pushback on social media. Earlier this week, YouTube followed Apple and Facebook in banning InfoWars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones—citing a violation of its hate-speech policies—and removed Jones’ many videos from its platform.
Even the alt-right’s backup social-media networks have come under pressure. A number of right-wing figures have retreated to Twitter-style site Gab over the past year after being banned from more mainstream sites. But on Thursday, Gab’s hosting company threatened to pull its service from the site over anti-Semitic posts from Patrick Little, a California neo-Nazi who has been listed as a speaker at the latest Unite the Right event. Little eventually deleted the posts.
While pushback from Uber and Lyft may make it more difficult for Unite the Right participants to attend the rally, most of them had planned to park at a Virginia Metro station and take public transportation into the city, according to plans posted online by organizers.
But even those transportation plans came under fire after the Metro transit union refused to operate private train cars for the ralliers.