TripAdvisor will now warn users about hotels where cases of sexual assault have been reported. The New York Times reports today that the badges will identify “health, safety, and discrimination issues in all of the website’s travel categories.” These badges are only temporary, however, and last for a three-month period. Company spokesman Kevin Carter noted that if users continue to report incidents, the badge may stay live longer. “These badges are intended to be informative, not punitive,” he told the paper.
The badges will be added or removed based off an “employee committee,” and TripAdvisor will never take down a business listing, regardless of the number of complaints. The badges are first being deployed on listings for three resorts in Mexico: the Grand Velas Riviera Maya, the Iberostar Paraiso Maya, and the Iberostar Paraiso Lindo. The badge is red and placed at the top of these hotel listings. You can see an example below:
The badge implementation follows a damning report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel earlier this month. The piece exposed the company’s censoring of reviews mentioning sexual assault and rape because they featured “non-family friendly” language. Following that report, TripAdvisor apologized and clarified that it changed its family friendly forum policy three years ago. The company last month also republished one woman’s account of rape first posted seven years ago while on a trip to Mexico.
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