TripAdvisor adds badge to properties where sexual assault has occurred

10 November, 2017, 01:56 | Author: Laverne Higgins
  • Image CJ GUNTHER  EPA-EFE  REX  Shutterstock

Online travel and restaurant review company TripAdvisor is making a major statement in the national discussion on combatting sexual assault with a rollout of a new feature aimed at pinpointing businesses where sexual assault has been reported.

Love claimed she had been raped by a security guard at a resort in Mexico in 2010 and had posted at that time about the alleged crime on TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor later issued a public apology to Love.

Love attempted to post about the assault on a TripAdvisor forum, but found that it was deleted for violating their "family-friendly" policies. Other users claim TripAdvisor deleted their comments, which included first-hand accounts of rapes or other injuries caused by hotel resort employees.

These badges are only temporary and last for a three-month period.

The rep told The News the warnings will remain on the TripAdvisor site "for up to 3 months", though they reserve the right to keep the badge up longer if new reports come in or the issues persist. "These badges are meant to be informative, not punitive", he told the paper. The company, through a committee, will now make decisions through TripAdvisor community comments and news reports about incidents. Love sent a letter to the company's CEO on Wednesday, accusing TripAdvisor of refusing to protect people and only being "concerned with their own growth and earnings", according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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"Hearsay" is the reason TripAdvisor gave dozens of travelers for not publishing their warnings of awful things that had happened to them or their loved ones at highly rated resorts in Mexico.

"In particular, limiting or removing reviews that detail unsafe conditions could put future travelers, who look to TripAdvisor for accurate information, at risk", she wrote.

On the top of the page for Iberostar Paraiso Maya, a resort in the Playa del Carmen region of Mexico, for example, there is a message from TripAdvisor written in classic cautionary red. In addition to the warnings, Hoyt said Thursday, TripAdvisor will begin to explain to users why it chooses to reject some reviews and forum posts. "We'll be monitoring news coverage moving forward".

"As with any product development in the Internet industry, there will always be continued iterations as we work to improve how we provide travel information to consumers", he added. The company did an inventory of reviews posted in the previous year and found "thousand of issues come up about health and safety and discrimination", he said.

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