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TripAdvisor Accused Of Deleting Resort Rape Report

Media Center | Press Releases - TripAdvisor

Needham-based TripAdvisor is taking new action to respond to concerns about sexual assault.

The warnings will remain on the hotel page for three months, but the time could be extended if reports of sexual assault persist. The badge does not detail exactly what has happened at the accommodation, but encourages users to research before making a booking.

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. The company said her post had violated a previous policy that permitted only "family-friendly" language in its reviews.

"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. Iberostar Paraiso Maya, one of the resorts affected by this impoundment, was shut down completely; Abbey Conner, a 20-year-old woman from Wisconsin, drowned there while on vacation with her family in January.

It's unclear what guidelines the "employee committee" will use to determine which comments or reports warrant adding a warning badge to a destination's page. He also clarified that the "badges are meant to be informative, not punitive".

A representative for the site told the Daily News that three hotels in Mexico have been badged since Wednesday.

Some of the best resorts in the world have been flagged by TripAdvisor, including three in the Mexican region of Playa del Carmen: the Grand Velas Riviera Maya, the Iberostar Paraiso Lindo, and the Iberostar Paraiso Maya.

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

Complaints of sexual assault on travellers are not new, and there are many posts on TripAdvisor written by travellers who say they were raped in various countries.

The company said it is also revising the way it informs consumers that their reviews and forum posts were deleted for containing hearsay. "So, our new email communications will clearly articulate the phrase or sentences that are in violation of our policy, inviting the reviewer to make edits and resubmit their review", the TripAdvisor rep told The News. Another badge is used to note when TripAdvisor freezes reviews during major news events where posts may not reflect the opinions of actual guests. "'No, we're not going to call the police, ma'am, '" she recalled in her conversation with the outlet.

She said access to accurate information is especially important in light of the deaths and injuries in Mexico and the failure by the State Department to properly warn tourists.