TripAdvisor marks hotels where sexual assaults have been reported with red badges

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- One of the travelers accusing website TripAdvisor of scrubbing first-hand accounts of rape, blackouts, and other injuries blasted the company Wednesday for its response to her, even as TripAdvisor rolled out a series of vague warning "badges" on the pages of some Mexican resorts listed on the site. They advise anyone considering visiting the properties to "perform additional research for information" when making travel plans.

The badges are first being deployed on listings for three resorts in Mexico: the Grand Velas Riviera Maya, the Iberostar Paraiso Maya, and the Iberostar Paraiso Lindo.

"These badges will remain on TripAdvisor for up to three months". TripAdvisor will flag businesses for a minimum of three months, he said, and the decision of whether to remove the badge after a three-month period will be made by a TripAdvisor committee. However, if the issues persist we may extend the duration of the badge.

In the wake of accusations that TripAdvisor had deleted from its site posts about crimes against tourists, the popular travel website has implemented a badge to mark hotels where serious incidents are alleged.

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

Despite the warning at the top of its TripAdvisor page, the Iberostar Paraiso Maya resort is rated 4.5 out of 5 by reviewers, who rank it the fourth-best hotel in the area.

Last week, it emerged that a mother of two had been fighting for seven years to have her TripAdvisor posts reinstated after she claimed she was raped at a resort by a security guard.

In a November 2 letter to Maureen Ohlausen, acting chairwoman of the commission, Baldwin said she's concerned that TripAdvisor "may be prioritizing profits over providing and open, honest forum for traveler reviews". The badge does not detail exactly what has happened at the accommodation, but encourages users to research before making a booking.

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

As part of its new policy, TripAdvisor will try to be more clear about why reviews are rejected.

The company maintains that it does not take down reviews or forum posts because they mention sexual assault or rape.

The Journal Sentinel spoke with more than a dozen travelers who said TripAdvisor blocked their warning messages after they had traveled to Mexico.