TripAdvisor Will Now Identify Hotels Where Sexual Assault Has Been Reported

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TripAdvisor now has a digital badge to mark hotels where sexual assault was reported

TripAdvisor, a popular travel and restaurant review company, is essentially adding a special badge of dishonor next to hotels and resorts where reports of sexual assaults have been made.

TripAdvisor confirmed this month its willingness to publish travel reviews which include reports of crimes such as rape, robbery, theft or assault.

It has so far put the message, which it calls a "badge", on the pages for three resorts in Mexico.

As of today, a big, red banner is already apparent on several resorts in Mexico.

A spokesman for the website told CBS News: 'These badges will remain on TripAdvisor for up to 3 months; however, if the issues persist we may extend the duration of the badge. TripAdvisor sees the severity of this issue and is taking new measures to protect its customers.

Read the ABC News report here.

The company has since vowed to clarify why certain reviews are rejected.

From now on TripAdvisor will place symbols next to hotels and resorts where violent incidents like assault and rape have been reported.

This change appears to be a direct response to an earlier report from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in which a traveler claimed the site refused to allow her to post about a rape she claims occurred in 2010 at the Iberostar Paraiso Maya on the Mexican Riviera in 2010. When nothing came of her complaint, she posted a warning on TripAdvisor, but it was promptly deleted.

But when Love posted her experience on TripAdvisor, she says it was deleted and that the site repeatedly scrubbed the content telling her it violated the company's "family-friendly" policies. That language may change in the future, but for now the badge is meant to be a warning sign to customers to encourage them to do additional research, Hoyt said.

Reviews are supposed to contain first-hand accounts only, so including a medical diagnosis or relaying a story from another person would lead to the post being taken down and a user receiving a generic rejection notice citing hearsay. They have also used it to mark hotels which are suspected of posting fake reviews and to mark when major news events do not reflect the hotel in question.

"Often it's a sentence that can be edited out and that review can be posted", Hoyt said.

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