TripAdvisor is now labeling hotels where sexual assaults have been reported

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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.

TripAdvisor said they are the first - but unlikely the last - properties to receive the new warning.

Three hotels in Mexico were badged on Wednesday, a TripAdvisor spokesman said.

Based on news reports as well as comments from the TripAdvisor community, the warnings are also created to identify health and safety issue, said a company spokesman, Kevin Carter.

After an investigative report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found the review site removed posts from travelers alleging rape and sexual assault at a Mexico resort, the company responded by rolling out a badge that would warn travelers of "health, safety, and discrimination issues" in all of the website's travel categories.

TripAdvisor had said it had apologised to the woman and has now published her review.

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A TripAdvisor committee will be reviewing badges to determine if they need to be kept attached to a business beyond the initial three months. The company did an inventory of reviews posted in the previous year and found "thousand of issues come up about health and safety and discrimination", he said. When nothing came of her complaint, she posted a warning on TripAdvisor, but it was promptly deleted.

The website had even deleted earlier advisory warnings from before she took the trip about the resort, on the basis that the reviews were not "family friendly".

TripAdvisor has made changes to their site following criticisms of the way they handled reports of sexual assault, blackouts and injury at resorts.

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The policy was changed a few years later to enable consumers to post about issues including sexual assault and rape, he said. "So, 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", the TripAdvisor rep told The News.

"In that review, there's a line about a doctor making a medical diagnosis".

Forum posts are regulated differently from reviews in that they do allow hearsay.

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