TripAdvisor Will Identify Hotels Where Sexual Assault and Rape Occurred

Nov 9, 2017

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TripAdvisor is still reeling from the revelations that it had been deleting user reviews containing allegations of rape and sexual assault at hotels. The company announced it will be implementing a system that identifies hotels and resorts that are associated with sexual assault and other serious issues.

The website will place badges on a property’s TripAdvisor Page that will indicate that their have been cases of sexual assault or other health, safety and discrimination issues.

“These badges will remain on TripAdvisor for up to three months. However, if the issues persist we may extend the duration of the badge,” TripAdvisor spokesman Kevin Carter told The New York Times. “These badges are intended to be informative, not punitive.”

One of the issues surrounding the controversy was who had the ability to remove the reviews. Moderators, who aren’t TripAdvisor employees and are referred to as “Trusted community experts,” also had the power to remove posts.

Now, decisions to add or remove a badge indicating safety issues will be debated and implemented by an employee committee. And even if there are complaints about a review, these comments will not be removed by TripAdvisor and will continue to live on the review page.

The new badges will be launched by the end of the year according to TripAdvisor CEO Steve Kaufer, although it appears that they have already been rolled out. A warning is prominently displayed on the page of Iberostar Paraiso Maya, where three incidents of sexual assault and rape occurred, according to reviews that were deleted.

One of the other allegations in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s report that brought the deletions to light was the that those who tried to resubmit reports of sexual assault that had been taken down would still continue to have difficulty getting their posts approved — even after rewording them to abide by TripAdvisor’s guidelines.

Now, TripAdvisor will try and clarify this with users who submit reviews.

“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,” said Cater.

Featured image by JD Lasica/Cruiseable.com/Flickr.

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