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TripAdvisor icon can mark where serious incidents are alleged

TripAdvisor icon can mark where serious incidents are alleged

The New York Times reports that the badge, which reviews properties for health, safety, and discrimination, is the company's third to ensure the safety of both its consumers and resorts. "Accordingly, you may wish to perform additional research for information about this property when making your travel plans", the warnings read.

TripAdvisor's decision to use a digital badge will probably receive pushback from hotels and resorts who advertise and pay for high placement on the website.

The warnings will remain on the hotel page for three months, but the time could be extended if reports of sexual assault persist. Company spokesman Kevin Carter noted that if users continue to report incidents, the badge may stay live longer.

In the wake of accusations that TripAdvisor had deleted from its site posts about crimes against tourists, the popular travel website has implemented a badge to mark hotels where serious incidents are alleged.

One woman, Kristie Love, was on vacation at the Iberostar Paraiso Maya resort on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula when, she said, she was raped by a security guard.

TripAdvisor is flagging the pages of hotels where sexual assaults are reported.

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TripAdvisor, which takes up to 15 percent commission on booking, says that it changed its family-friendly forum policy three years ago and had apologized to Love.

Last week, it emerged that a woman had been fighting for seven years to have her TripAdvisor posts reinstated after she claimed she was raped at a resort. TripAdvisor later issued a public apology to Love. He also clarified that the "badges are meant to be informative, not punitive".

"When we were made aware that this post had been removed under our previous guidelines, we republished it in line with our revised policy".

There is a big possibility more will be added to the list as the company vets properties that appear in the news, said a TripAdvisor spokesperson. "We'll be monitoring news coverage moving forward".

Complaints of sexual assault on travellers are not new, and there are many posts on TripAdvisor written by travellers who say they were raped in various countries. Most of the people Journal Sentinel interviewed were told that their reviews were removed, because they were merely "hearsay" despite posting about what happened to them personally.

"When we were made aware that this user's post had been removed, we republished it in line with our current policy and have apologized to the victim for her experience", Kaufer wrote in a November 3 LinkedIn post. Reviews in the past have been rejected on grounds of hearsay, as they would sometimes cite the opinion of someone else or include a medical diagnosis.