USA Today has published a bombshell story accusing hotel review site TripAdvisor of removing customer reviews that warn people about rapes, blackouts, robberies, and other crimes at resorts.
The story comes from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which unearthed several women whose horror stories were removed from TripAdvisor. One such story came from a woman who was sexually assaulted by a security guard at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico and then tried to warn others via TripAdvisor. Her story was removed by a TripAdvisor moderator who “deemed it in violation of the company’s ‘family friendly’ guidelines,” per USA Today. Now, though, TripAdvisor has republished the post—seven years later and in chronological order, “more than 2,600 pages deep, behind thousands of more recent threads.” In the meantime, two other women were assaulted at the same resort, telling their stories to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. One of the women noted, that “maybe we wouldn’t have gone or maybe that wouldn’t have happened to me” if TripAdvisor hadn’t pulled the first woman’s horror story.
TripAdvisor has released a statement adamantly denying charges that it removes problematic or negative reviews:
“A simple Internet search will show numerous reviews from travelers over the last several years who wrote about their first hand experiences that include matters of robbery or theft, assault and rape. We believe any first-hand experience should be posted to our site as a means to communicate to other consumers looking for information on where they should travel.”
Now, the company says it’s unveiling a badge notification system to alert consumers about health and safety or discrimination issues at the business.