TripAdvisor adds badge to mark hotels where sexual assaults are reported

Media Center | Press Releases - TripAdvisor

"TripAdvisor has been made aware of recent media reports or events concerning this property which may not be reflected in reviews found on this listing", the warning reads. But hotel experts warned the badges could be hugely damaging to hotels who had false or unsubstantiated claims made against them.

The badges will be added or removed based off an "employee committee", and TripAdvisor will never take down a business listing, regardless of the number of complaints. "However, if the issues persist we may extend the duration of the badge", TripAdvisor spokesman Kevin Carter told The Times.

"We reserve the right for other properties and businesses to follow where we see credible reports of health, safety or discrimination issues", the spokesperson said.

According to Glamour, "Upon the launch of this new feature, Paraiso Maya was one of the locations that TripAdvisor issued the warning badge for". The Journal Sentinel reported the company had repeatedly removed a post by Love from 2010 in which she said she had been raped by a security guard at Iberostar Paraiso Maya. "Accordingly, you may wish to perform additional research about this property when making your travel plans".

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Last week, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the site deleted posts from a Dallas woman, Kristie Love, which said she was raped at a hotel in Mexico.

After facing a massive backlash from those revelations, the company republished Love's review and released a statement explaining that it had tighter rules when she submitted it. CEO Steve Kaufer also said the company had apologized to her, but it looks like TripAdvisor's apology was the publicly released statement itself - she said she never received a single phone call or email from the company. That language may change in the future, but for now the badge is meant to be a warning sign to customers to encourage them to do additional research, Hoyt said. These badges are only temporary, however, and last for a three-month period. Now, the website has incorporated changes in an effort to be more clear "about the reasons [a deleted] review doesn't meet guidelines and what part of it is in violation".

Forum posts are regulated differently from reviews in that they do allow hearsay.

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