Published: Thu, November 09, 2017
Finance | By Loren Pratt

TripAdvisor Accused Of Deleting Resort Rape Report

TripAdvisor Accused Of Deleting Resort Rape Report

After an investigative report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found the review site removed posts from travelers alleging rape and sexual assault at a Mexico resort, the company responded by rolling out a badge that would warn travelers of "health, safety, and discrimination issues" in all of the website's travel categories. The company promised to launch the badge after a report revealed that it deleted several users' reviews warning others of rape and assault that allegedly happened over the years in some of the highest-rated resorts on the website.

Instead of just removing locations from the site where a criminal offense took place, TripAdvisor is using a badge system to give consumers the tools they need to differentiate between choosing places to stay. "We do believe the first version of this badge is created to be a catalyst for consumers to do additional research outside of TripAdvisor if our reviews may not readily communicate issues related to health, safety and/or discrimination issues, and spur a traveler to do a keyword search in TripAdvisor reviews". He adds that these badges are meant to be informative and not punitive.

Three resorts in the Playa del Carmen region of Mexico were those flagged by TripAdvisor, including the hotel ranked at number 2 by users, the Grand Velas Riviera Maya; the hotel ranked at number 4, the Iberostar Paraiso Maya; and the fifth-ranked hotel, the Iberostar Paraiso Lindo.

A red banner will now span the top of TripAdvisor listings, cautioning tourists that the accommodation has had a case reported and suggesting travellers do further research.

A spokesperson said the badges will decorate establishments' pages for up to three months.

The badges will remain on the site for three months but will be kept up if "issues persist". According to Love, she was raped by a security guard at the Mexican resort.

TripAdvisor had said it had apologised to the woman and has now published her review. When she mentioned this in an online review on TripAdvisor in 2010, the post was deleted, as were the posts by other people who'd posted about their experiences.

A couple of years later, TripAdvisor changed that policy to enable users to post remarks about issues that included rape and sexual assault.

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