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TripAdvisor Will Flag Hotels Where Sexual Assaults Have Been Reported

TripAdvisor Will Flag Hotels Where Sexual Assaults Have Been Reported

Those who browse hotel listings on TripAdvisor may notice a new style of digital badge, which the travel website will use to denote hotels where a sexual assault has occurred.

"These badges will remain on TripAdvisor for up to three months".

"We have chose to introduce a new badge notification that will be displayed on a business's listing page when an issue relating to that business is reported on by credible media sources", Tara Lieberman, a TripAdvisor spokeswoman, tells Vogue. However, if the issues persist we may extend the duration of the badge.

Three resorts in Mexico, the Grand Velas Riviera Maya, the Iberostar Paraiso Maya and the Iberostar Paraiso Lindo have garnered the warning badges after customers issued warnings about the businesses.

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The red banner across the top of the resorts' listings on TripAdvisor caution tourists that the establishments have been subjects in media reports and suggests travelers might want to do further research.

The new feature comes after a lengthy investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel documented repeated instances where TripAdvisor removed posts warning of alleged rape, assault or other injuries at some Mexican resorts. TripAdvisor said it had run afoul of a former policy that allowed only "family-friendly" language.

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

TripAdvisor has made it easier for its users to see if safety concerns have been stated about hotels they research.

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"There's potentially going to be more as we continue to vet properties that come up in the news", Hoyt said. When she posted on TripAdvisor about the incident, the post was taken down. TripAdvisor replaced the comments with a generic explanation that the posts were "inappropriate" and "off-topic". These badges are meant to be informative, not punitive.

The Journal Sentinel spoke with more than a dozen travelers who said TripAdvisor blocked their warning messages after they had traveled to Mexico. In 2015, another guest was sexually assaulted at the same hotel and her comments were also rejected because the company claimed that a line about her doctor's diagnosis constituted "hearsay" by a third party.

"While I know nothing I tell you can ever undo what happened to you, or make up for the anguish caused by not being able to warn others about your sexual assault on our platform at the time, I hope this letter helps clarify our current policies and explain the measures in place to ensure experiences like yours can be shared on TripAdvisor", Kaufer said.

There is a big possibility more will be added to the list as the company vets properties that appear in the news, said a TripAdvisor spokesperson.

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