TripAdvisor icon can mark where serious incidents are alleged
10 November, 2017, 00:36 | Author: Samuel Sharp
The online travel site added another new warning message for companies where sexual assault or other safety incidents had been reported.
The report found that the website labelled such reviews "inappropriate, not "family-friendly", and "hearsay" when they included third-party medical diagnoses - and now TripAdvisor is responding by placing symbols "designed to identify health, safety and discrimination issues", The New York Times reports". They advise anyone considering visiting the properties to "perform additional research for information" when making travel plans.
Additionally, TripAdvisor's highest recognition, the 2017 Traveler's Choice award badge, remains on clear display directly below the red message, which could add to potential confusion or perhaps downplay the intended severity of the new badge.
The announcement came after the website was accused of deleting several reviews in which users reported being sexually assaulted at hotels in Mexico.
Kristie Love read the November 2 headlines from around the globe; "TripAdvisor apologizes for deleting user's post about being raped at resort;" "TripAdvisor apologizes for removing rape claim." and "TripAdvisor apologizes to alleged rape victim".
"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". Two other women told the newspaper they too were raped or assaulted at a resort in Mexico.
Kristie Love told the publication she was dragged into the bushes by a security guard and raped. "Our vetting of news reports continues and it is likely more businesses will receive this badge as more information is reviewed", TripAdvisor said in a statement. "As always, we encourage consumers to do additional research outside of TripAdvisor". "These badges are meant to be informative, not punitive", TripAdvisor spokesperson said.
"When we were made aware that this post had been removed under our previous guidelines, we republished it in line with our revised policy".
The company maintains that it does not take down reviews or forum posts because they mention sexual assault or rape. "'No, we're not going to call the police, ma'am, '" she recalled in her conversation with the outlet.
Love insists she tried to seek justice for weeks to no avail.
Locations that are flagged for safety concerns will not be removed from the site-even with negative comments-because the company wants customers to see a full spectrum of reviews.
"WHAT APOLOGY? I've yet to hear a word from TripAdvisor, and certainly not an apology", Love wrote in the comments section of Kaufer's post.
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