The Journal Sentinel reports that after TripAdvisor deleted Love's post, at least two more women were sexually assaulted at the same resort complex. The badges will be issued any time the company perceives a current issue as relayed by either users or the news media and they'll remain on the site for up to three months.
Additionally, TripAdvisor said it has amended the communications about hearsay that it sends to its users, making "changes in order to be more clear about the reasons the review doesn't meet guidelines and what part of it is in violation".
"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", the statement said. On Nov. 3, TripAdvisor chief executive Steve Kaufer posted a statement on his LinkedIn page saying the company had "apologized to the victim for her experience". According to Love, she was raped by a security guard at the Mexican resort.
Message from TripAdvisor: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. "However, if the issues persist [they] may extend the duration of the badge".
On the top of the page for Iberostar Paraiso Maya, a resort in the Playa del Carmen region of Mexico, for example, there is a message from TripAdvisor written in classic cautionary red. "If a business is receiving this badge, a simple Internet search should present relevant information that is necessary when making a travel decision".
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The three resorts where sexual assault was reported were: Grand Velas Riviera Maya, the Iberostar Paraiso Maya and the Iberostar Paraiso Lindo. TripAdvisor replaced the comments with a generic explanation that the posts were "inappropriate" and "off-topic".
All three resorts are high-ranking in popularity with TripAdvisor members.
The company said it is also revising the way it informs consumers that their reviews and forum posts were deleted for containing hearsay.
Now, TripAdvisor will clearly explain to users the phrasing or sentences in a review that violate the website's guidelines, Hoyt said, and invite users to edit and resubmit their reviews.
She said access to accurate information is especially important in light of the deaths and injuries in Mexico and the failure by the State Department to properly warn tourists. 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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