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TripAdvisor targeting sexual assault with new feature

TripAdvisor targeting sexual assault with new feature
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Online travel and restaurant review company TripAdvisor is making a major statement in the national discussion on combatting sexual assault with a rollout of a new feature aimed at pinpointing businesses where sexual assault has been reported.

The feature, which was first reported by The New York Times, is in the form of a red badge on a business's TripAdvisor page after customers flag that sexual assault has occurred at that particular location.

"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. Accordingly, you may wish to perform additional research for information about this property when making your travel plans," the badge reads. 

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“These badges will remain on TripAdvisor for up to three months. However, if the issues persist we may extend the duration of the badge," TripAdvisor spokesman Kevin Carter told the Times. 

“These badges are intended to be informative, not punitive," he continued. 

Three resorts in Mexico, the Grand Velas Riviera Maya, the Iberostar Paraiso Maya and the Iberostar Paraiso Lindo have garnered the warning badges after customers issued warnings about the businesses.

The feature comes as the national conversation on sexual assault has expanded in the wake of allegations against high profile men, including movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and actor Kevin Spacey.

TripAdvisor came under fire this month after The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported the company had deleted a review from a customer who said she was raped by a security guard at a resort.

The company said in a statement they had to delete the review because some of the comment contained secondhand information. 

“In that review, there’s a line about a doctor making a medical diagnosis. Because it was a third-party medical diagnosis, it constituted hearsay,” a TripAdvisor spokesman told the Times. 

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

“Our new email communications will clearly articulate the phrase or sentences that are in violation of our policy, inviting the reviewer to make edits and resubmit their review,” Carter told the publication.