More than a dozen tourists are alleging that TripAdvisor, a popular travel review site that boasts over 400 million monthly users, deleted their attempts to post descriptions of rapes, assaults, and unexpected blackouts that they experienced while staying at Mexican resorts. The allegations came to light when the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel began an investigative journalism project looking into alcohol-related safety issues at Mexican resorts. The newspaper reports that TripAdvisor users who attempted to warn other potential visitors about the dangers were “muzzled” by the website’s staff.
As evidence, the newspaper described a recent forum post on TripAdvisor’s website in which a woman asked other TripAdvisor users about their concerns over safety at the Riviera Maya resort on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Of the 55 replies to this question, only 24 of them were positive, telling the woman not to worry and that she would be fine. However, the remaining negative posts had been deleted from the forum. TripAdvisor had stated a message in their place citing various reasons for the deletion, including that they were “determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community,” removed because they were “off-topic,” or contains language or subject matter that was not “family friendly.”
The Trouble with Filtering Reviews
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel describes one resort in particular where, within seven years, there were at least three women who came forward and reported that they were raped or sexually assaulted. Two of these women reported that they were sexually assaulted by uniformed security guards working for the resort. Seven years ago, one of those women attempted to post an account of her rape and her account of the hotel’s refusal to call police or investigate their employee whom she identified as her rapist on TripAdvisor to warn other potential visitors. Each time she posted the review, she says, it was deleted. One of the subsequent victims stated that, if she had read an account like that before her trip, she might not have gone to the resort.
For its part, TripAdvisor says that it “absolutely” wants to publish reviews that warn other travelers about concerns over an assault. They published a statement on their website to acknowledge the issue.
Do the Research
These actions may or may not have a lasting impact on TripAdvisor’s reputation. Many people seek out reviews on hotels in other countries before booking in order to carefully scan for issues like the one that TripAdvisor seemed to hide. For this reason, when you are planning a vacation, it might be helpful to read a variety of reviews on the hotel you are researching. This can help provide a larger picture of the property and will hopefully add insight on the events and experiences other people have had there.
Contact an Atlanta Personal Injury AttorneyIf you have been injured while on vacation, either through an intentional sexual assault or through negligence, you deserve to be compensated. Contact the attorneys at Slappey & Sadd for a free consultation to discuss your case by calling 404.255.6677. We serve the entire state of Georgia, including the following locations: Decatur, Lithonia, and Norcross.