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NEWS

A Health and Safety Issue

The travel website has added badges to inform users of hotels where sexual assaults have been reported.

The New York Times reported that the badges will identify “health, safety, and discrimination issues in all of the website’s travel categories.” These badges are only temporary, however, and last for a three-month period. Company spokesman Kevin Carter noted that if users continue to report incidents, the badge may stay live longer.

“These badges are intended to be informative, not punitive,” he told the paper. However, if the issues persist that duration may be extended. The announcement of the badges came after TripAdvisor was accused of deleting a number of reviews where users reported being sexually assaulted at hotels in Mexico. An investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper found that TripAdvisor had repeatedly deleted posts by Texas woman Kristie Love (35) in which she claimed she had been raped by the hotel security guard at the Iberostar Paraiso Maya resort.

Previous Allegations Removed

The newspaper also spoke to other women with similar allegations about the resort. Since Wednesday, three hotels in Playa del Carmen, Mexico have been flagged with warning badges. TripAdvisor issued an apology to Love on 2nd November and said that once it became aware that the post had been removed from previous guidelines, it was republished. “We apologise to the sexual assault victim… who had her forum post removed seven years ago on TripAdvisor”.

At the time, we had a policy whereby we judged content to be in breach of our guidelines if it did not adhere to family-friendly language,” the statement said. “A few years ago, we changed that policy to allow more descriptive reviews on the site about first-hand accounts of serious incidents like rape or assault,” it said. “We are horrified that this victim experienced this assault on her vacation in Mexico, and other travellers should be aware of this incident.” The company last month also republished one woman’s account of rape first posted seven years ago while on a trip to Mexico.

 

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