TripAdvisor Will Now Start Identifying Hotels Where Sexual Assault Has Occurred

Media Center | Press Releases - TripAdvisor

Travel review website TripAdvisorhas launched a new warning "badge" system to identify hotels and listings where sexual assaults have been reported. Not only did the Journal Sentinel's report raise concerns that TripAdvisor's policies were enabling assaults that could have been prevented, it also set off alarms that the company might be scrubbing disparaging information from the pages of its advertisers in order to keep them happy-a claim TripAdvisor has refuted. The badges will be issued any time the company perceives a current issue as relayed by either users or the news media and they'll remain on the site for up to three months.

TripAdvisor is making it easier for users to see if any safety concerns have been flagged about hotels they're researching. TripAdvisor apologized and said the repeated removals were due to a policy that only permitted "family-friendly" language and content, according to TheNYT.

"When we were made aware that this user's post had been removed, we republished it in line with our current policy and have apologized to the victim for her experience", Kaufer wrote in a November 3 LinkedIn post.

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Turns out, while the company was publicly apologizing, nobody had actually contacted Love, the woman from Texas whose post about being sexually assaulted by a security guard at a resort in Mexico in 2010 was deleted from TripAdvisor. "However, if the issues persist we may extend the duration of the badge", he said. The badge is red and placed at the top of these hotel listings. "If a business is receiving this badge, a simple Internet search should present relevant information that is necessary when making a travel decision".

TripAdvisor confirmed this month its willingness to publish travel reviews which include reports of crimes such as rape, robbery, theft or assault.

"When we were made aware that this post had been removed under our previous guidelines, we republished it in line with our revised policy".

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The badges are first being deployed on listings for three resorts in Mexico: the Grand Velas Riviera Maya, the Iberostar Paraiso Maya, and the Iberostar Paraiso Lindo.

The company has since vowed to clarify why certain reviews are rejected. The publication's report, however, focused on Iberostar Paraiso: at least three women said they were raped in the resort's premises.

Now, TripAdvisor will clearly explain to users the phrasing or sentences in a review that violate the website's guidelines, Hoyt said, and invite users to edit and resubmit their reviews. "'No, we're not going to call the police, ma'am, '" she recalled in her conversation with the outlet.

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