TripAdvisor appears to be under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission for allegations of dishonest business practices.
Have you ever left a not-so-flattering TripAdvisor review, only to go back later and be completely unable to find it? Travelers to some resorts in Mexico appear to be dealing with just this problem. Following the break of news earlier this year that tourists were getting assaulted at some specific Mexican resorts, potentially because of drugged alcohol, travelers who left reviews for those resorts outlining their experiences noticed them disappearing from the TripAdvisor site. One victim even tried to leave a review detailing her sexual assault multiple times, and each time it was deleted. Reasons given for the deletions include that the reviews are against the family-friendly policy of the site, they’re hearsay, or they’re somehow unrelated to the topic at hand.
Now, the Federal Trade Commission is stepping in to investigate the issue. If TripAdvisor is, in fact, deleting negative reviews, it constitutes dishonest business practices that put potential travelers at risk of getting assaulted themselves. So far, the investigation is mostly under wraps, with no details on when more information or findings will be released to the public.
The company has since issued a statement apologizing to the rape victim for deleting her review, citing restrictive policies about language usage on the site. It has since been republished. TripAdvisor also says it’s working on new ways to keep travelers safe, such as including a type of badge on a lodging profile that’s been deemed dangerous or risky. Moderators on the site are receiving extra training for situations when these reviews do arise, as well.