© Daniel SLIM Washington barricaded itself as Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony approached
Airbnb canceled all reservations planned in Washington next week, an unprecedented measure that shows the concern of large digital platforms, determined not to facilitate possible excesses and violence during the inauguration of future US President Joe Biden.
© ROBERTO SCHMIDT After the invasion of the Capitol on January 6, the mayor of Washington asked people not to come to the capital next week
“Airbnb will cancel reservations in Washington and its suburbs during nomination week,” the accommodation reservation specialist said in a statement. “In addition, we will prevent any new reservations in Washington and its suburbs during this period.”
Like the businesses that have barricaded themselves and concrete blocks placed in the American capital, the tech giants are increasing the safeguards as January 20 approaches, the day when Joe Biden will take office.
Google has just put political ads on hiatus, including “all ads referring to the indictment (of outgoing President Donald Trump, editor’s note), the nomination or the Capitol demonstrations”.
The invasion of Congress by supporters of the billionaire Republican during the certification of the presidential results last Wednesday shocked the country and tarnished its image internationally.
“The events of the past week have been chilling to watch,” Google boss Sundar Pichai said in an online forum hosted by Reuters on Wednesday.
When asked by the reporter if his company had been taken aback by the violence, the leader referred to the efforts of his teams to counter disinformation around the US elections.
– Trump disconnected –
“We are constantly learning at these times. The whole internet has to decide what kind of information can be spread online,” he added.
Last week, Facebook indefinitely suspended the profile of Donald Trump, accused of encouraging his supporters. Snapchat, Twitch, and even Twitter ended up joining him, citing the risk of further violence.
The Head of State thus lost his main communication channel, his Twitter profile with 88 million subscribers.
YouTube was the last to follow, with a week-long suspension from the President’s channel announced on Tuesday. Google’s video platform faced increasing pressure from civil society.
But Sundar Pichai declined to say whether the measure would be final. “Comments have been suspended and we will re-evaluate our position based on what we see,” he said.
Fearing further excesses on the occasion of Mr. Biden’s inauguration, local and federal authorities, including the mayor of Washington and the governors of Maryland and Virginia, the two neighboring states, have called for all travel to be avoided. to town next week.
The concerns are pronounced enough for Airbnb to make this drastic decision. The company assured that affected customers would be fully reimbursed. Hosts will also be compensated by Airbnb for the amount they should have received.
– Conspiracies kept at bay –
Airbnb says it has expelled from its platform individuals who took part in the violence of January 6.
The FBI warned that armed groups were preparing actions ahead of the ceremony.
In Washington, a campaign organized by activists has for several days encouraged Airbnb hosts not to rent during the nomination.
The local Black Lives Matter branch is lobbying hotels not to make their rooms available to outsiders, and a union of area hotel workers has called on establishments to close unless they host security personnel.
Social networks have for their part undertaken a purge of extreme right-wing groups. Twitter for example “permanently suspended” 70,000 QAnon affiliate accounts, a pro-Trump conspiracy movement.
Apple and Google have removed the conservative social network Parler, popular with supporters of Donald Trump, from their application download platforms, as has Amazon, which has banned it from its servers.
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