HOME sharing service Airbnb has again come under fire after allegedly banning users for being sex workers.
“Is this ’cause I’m a sex worker,” she asked.
The tweet was accompanied by a screenshot of an email from the company stating, “We regret to inform you that we’ll be unable to support your account moving forward and have exercised our discretion under our Terms of Service to disable your account. This decision is irreversible and will affect any duplicated or future accounts.”
Airbnb was last year lauded for introducing a comprehensive anti-discrimination policy, requiring users to agree to “treat everyone in the Airbnb community—regardless of their race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or age—with respect, and without judgement or bias”.
— Fatherfucker (@kenzie_MFC) April 17, 2017
Sex worker rights are often considered intertwined with queer rights, with many people in the LGBTI community having done sex work.
Another sex worker, Scarlet, tweeted, “It’s disgusting you discriminate against sex workers like PayPal… and many others and cause damage to your customers’ business.”
She added, “Another thing to consider is that sex workers are expert social media networkers. When we tweet people listen. I got 30K listening.”
PayPal has controversially refused accounts to sex workers and even seized their funds, including in jurisdictions where sex work is legal, such as most of Australia.
Mckenzie tweeted that PayPal has also refused her an account due to her work.
Sex work is protected from discrimination in parts of Australia, being classed as “lawful sexual activity” under the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991. However, sex workers can also be lawfully thrown out of accommodation.
The latest reports of Airbnb discrimination against sex workers come after the company launched its ‘Until We All Belong’ campaign for marriage equality in Australia.