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Airbnb’s “Belong Anywhere” promotion turns into a shouting match over the refugee crisis

The San Francisco home-sharing company said today it would match charitable contributions to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which provides relief efforts for the humanitarian crisis that has displaced tens of millions of people.  With the hashtag #BelongAnywhere, Airbnb promoted the offer on Twitter, where large numbers of ostensibly “alt-right” users tweeted their … Continue reading “Airbnb’s “Belong Anywhere” promotion turns into a shouting match over the refugee crisis”

The San Francisco home-sharing company said today it would match charitable contributions to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which provides relief efforts for the humanitarian crisis that has displaced tens of millions of people. 

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With the hashtag #BelongAnywhere, Airbnb promoted the offer on Twitter, where large numbers of ostensibly “alt-right” users tweeted their opposition. According to these mostly anonymous critics, the United States should not have to shoulder the burden of the crisis (even though the Airbnb promotion says nothing about specific countries taking refugees in). 

   

In response to the outrage, other users accused opponents of the campaign of co-opting the hashtag to spread xenophobia.

Airbnb said it would give up to $1 million in matched contributions, including $800,000 in cash to UNHCR and another $200,000 in travel credits for relief groups.   

[Photo: Airbnb]

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About the author

Christopher Zara is a senior staff news editor for Fast Company and obsessed with media, technology, business, culture, and theater. Before coming to FastCo News, he was a deputy editor at International Business Times, a theater critic for Newsweek, and managing editor of Show Business magazine

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