TripAdvisor will display sexual assault cases on hotel websites

Media Center | Press Releases - TripAdvisor

They don't just warn about sexual assault-"We will issue the badge any time we believe there is a current health, safety, or discrimination issue relevant to travels" Lieberman says-but it all comes in the wake of the sexual harassment scandals rocking every industry from Hollywood to TV to publishing to sports to well, TripAdvisor itself. The badges are meant to flag all health, safety and discrimination issues, including theft, sexual assault and rape, TripAdvisor spokesman Brian Hoyt told CNNMoney. They advise anyone considering visiting the properties to "perform additional research for information" when making travel plans.

The Journal Sentinel initially reported no one from TripAdvisor contacted Love to apologize, though CEO Steve Kaufer wrote in a LinkedIn post last week the company "apologized to the victim for her experience". "However, if the issues persist [they] may extend the duration of the badge".

A red banner will now run across the top of TripAdvisor listings, cautioning tourists that the accommodation has had a case reported and urging travellers to conduct further checks before booking.

Kristie Love claims to have reported a rape on TripAdvisor's site in 2010 following her vacation at Iberostar Paraiso Maya, an all-inclusive resort in the coastal town of Playa del Carmen, Mexico. TripAdvisor apologized and said the repeated removals were due to a policy that only permitted "family-friendly" language and content, according to TheNYT. Several additional hotels in Mexico-including Iberostar Paraiso Lindo and Grand Vellas-were given a similar warning after reports indicated they had issues with "tainted alcohol and sexual assault". Love alleged that a hotel security guard dragged her into the bushes and sexually assaulted her. The badges will not include the words "sexual assault", but will encourage customers to beware, similar to notices for fake reviews or recent violent incidents.

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"The badge has nothing to do with how we will post reviews on the site", the spokeswoman said.

This is a temporary measure, following a backlash the company received when it was accused of repeatedly removing a review in which a woman stated she was raped at a hotel.

"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. TripAdvisor replaced the comments with a generic explanation that the posts were "inappropriate" and "off-topic". "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", Carter said. "'No, we're not going to call the police ma'am, '" Love told CBS News.

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