TripAdvisor Will Flag Hotels Where Sexual Assaults Have Been Reported

TripAdvisor is now identifying hotels and resorts where sexual assault has been reported, after the travel reviewing company drew scorn for deleting posts from more than a dozen alleged victims.

The site will now put red badges on the pages for locations that have faced allegations, and they will remain there for up to three months. 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.

"These badges are intended to be informative, not punitive," TripAdvisor spokesman Kevin Carter said in a statement. The company said this was a new effort to flag “health, safety, and discrimination issues” at locations reviewed on the site.

The site will now put red badges on the pages for locations that have faced allegations, and they will remain there for up to three months.

"TripAdvisor has been made aware of recent media reports or events concerning this property which may not be reflected in reviews found on this listing,” the badge says. “Accordingly, you may wish to perform additional research for information about this property when making your travel plans."

The new warnings come after TripAdvisor earned its own red mark over its handling over a woman's accusations.

Indianapolis resident Kristie Love told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this month that TripAdvisor deleted multiple comments from her describing an alleged assault at a popular Mexican resort. TripAdvisor replaced the comments with a generic explanation that the posts were "inappropriate" and "off-topic." More than a dozen other travelers have seen similar posts deleted, according to the Journal Sentinel investigation.

Man online A man uses a laptop computer at a wireless cafe in Beijing, China, July 1, 2009. Frederic J.Brown/Getty

The company apologized last week for removing Love's posts, and said it did so because they contained "hearsay."

TripAdvisor is now one of few reviewing portals to highlight sexual assault accusations, though similar services also add warnings for businesses caught in notoriety. Yelp, for instance, will add a warning if a recent news story has led to users flooding a business with negative reviews. 

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