TripAdvisor targeting sexual assault with new feature

Media Center | Press Releases - TripAdvisor

The app said the badges can be applied to any properties or businesses that have been or will be reviewed.

The badge added to hotels' pages on TripAdvisor warning about sexual assault. The badge is red and placed at the top of these hotel listings.

"We have made a decision 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. "We do believe the first version of this badge is created to be a catalyst for consumers to do additional research outside of TripAdvisor if our reviews may not readily communicate issues related to health, safety and/or discrimination issues, and spur a traveler to do a keyword search in TripAdvisor reviews".

The company told CBS the badges are meant to be informative and not punitive.

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While the warning labels don't specify what kind of intrigues the establishments are involved in, the company seems to have tagged the Mexican resorts specified in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's exposé.

Icons or badges will signify hotels where offenses have taken place for up to three months and can remain on for longer if repeat issues occur. The Journal Sentinel reported the company had repeatedly removed a post by Love from 2010 in which she said she had been raped by a security guard at Iberostar Paraiso Maya. The newspaper subsequently noticed TripAdvisor had removed multiple reviews that described situations in which the reviewer had experienced assault. They have also used it to mark hotels which are suspected of posting fake reviews and to mark when major news events do not reflect the hotel in question. Jamie Valeri, who also said she was raped in the resort complex five years later, pointed out that if the website didn't delete Love's review, she might not have gone there at all. Please call, I've been raped, I've been raped.

She claims she left under the guise that the hotel would be pursuing a case against her alleged attacker. The website had allegedly deleted earlier previous warnings about the resort, on the basis that the reviews were not "family friendly".

At least two other women have since come forward alleging that they, too, were assaulted at the resort.

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