Things That Matter

Someone Offered A ‘Live The Revolution’ Experience On Airbnb In Chile And The Insensitivity And Disrespect Is Just Baffling

Someone was offering an Airbnb “experience” that involved “living the revolution.” The two-hour ‘experience’ offered a tour of Santiago’s Plaza Italia but the offer prompted fierce backlash against effort to monetize protest and was quickly taken down by the platform. 

An Airbnb tour in Chile promised the chance to ‘live the revolution’.

The two-hour “experience” offered a tour of Santiago’s Plaza Italia, which has become ground zero for a wave of mass demonstrations over social and economic inequality.

The tour was monetizing the revolution.

Priced at 19,000 Chilean pesos —about $25 USD, the excursion included a bottle of water and protective eye goggles —a nod to those worn by protesters to shield themselves from birdshot and rubber-coated pellets shot by riot police.

“Live the revolution” was up on Airbnb Experiences

www.airbnb.com

The insensitive tour was promoted on Airbnb Experiences, a platform offering “one-of-a-kind activities hosted by locals” – but was withdrawn from the site just a few days after it went live, following huge criticism on social media.

A local ideated the tour.

Promotor Sebastián Nieto told local media that he came up with the idea of the tour after noting foreign visitors’ fascination with the demonstrations. “I realized that at the protests there are always lots of spectators, people taking photos,” he said. “Of course there is a backdrop of social issues – which is totally valid – but there’s also a playful element.”

But the experience was met with a lot of backlash.

Chileans responded with fury, with some claiming the tour was a violation of Airbnb’s safety policies, while others condemned its insensitivity. “The social struggle is NOT a business” read one tweet.

The protests have been taking place for more than 3 months now.

Several clashes have unfolded at Plaza Italia between protesters and the police for almost three months. According to reports, hundreds of thousands of people have joined the rallies since they began in September as they called for radical changes to the country’s economic and political system over alleged corruption claims. The country’s security forces have also been accused of a spate of grave human rights abuses in their response to the marches, that have left at least 26 people dead and thousands more injured.

The UN human rights office reported that it had heard 345 cases involving people suffering eye injuries caused by lead pellets fired from police shotguns.

In a statement, Airbnb said: “The safety of our host and guest community is a priority for Airbnb. If we are made aware that an experience and/or host violates our platform policies, community standards, or terms of service, we take action. This experience is no longer available.”

This is a movement against capitalism.

Protester Mario Hans, who has gone to Plaza Italia every day since the unrest began said to newspaper The Guardian, that he was uncomfortable at the idea that anyone would profit from Chile’s political uprising. “This is a movement against capitalism, for equality,” he said. “The first goal here should be to inform, not to charge.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com