The Booking and Airbnb platforms, which advertise short-term rental accommodation, posted rental ads from Serbia containing anti-migrant messages, Radio Free Europe (RSE) reported.
As stated, RFE has detected more than 10 advertisements for the rental of residential premises in Sombor, a city in the northwest of Serbia, near the borders with Croatia and Hungary.
Airbnb immediately suspended the ad, which was cited as one of the examples in which discriminatory language was used against migrants, immediately after sending a query to the RSE.
In that, as well as other ads, before the company’s intervention, the owners of the rental accommodation stressed that everyone, except migrants, was welcome.
After the intervention, the description of the ad was updated and the anti-migrant vocabulary was deleted. Airbnb reposted the ad and warned the landlord that if similar behaviour is repeated, the ad will be deleted entirely.
Booking also deleted one of the ads after RFE reacted. The words “no migrants”, were deleted from the title of the ad, however, that tag remained in the description of the ad.
Nikola Kovačević, a human rights lawyer from Belgrade, told RFE that such ads are a “textbook example of discrimination based on racial, religious and national grounds”.
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