More than a dozen travelers who sought to warn others about injuries, assaults, and tainted alcohol at Mexican resorts accuse TripAdvisor of "censoring" them. Continuing its investigations into incidents at Mexican resorts, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes travelers across the US say TripAdvisor silenced them when they used the website to share unfavorable accounts, including tales of rape. Three separate women who say they were raped at the same Iberostar resort allege TripAdvisor censored their posts. A woman says TripAdvisor—which prohibits hearsay, off-topic material, and content that isn't "family friendly"—also deleted her review describing how she blacked out after drinking a small amount of alcohol, claiming the account was hearsay. But "it actually happened to me," the 52-year-old says.
TripAdvisor reportedly cited the same policy after it deleted reviews of Turkey's Pegasos Royal Hotel, where a lawsuit alleges 40 people contracted salmonella. The hotel received two TripAdvisor awards this year, reports the Sun. According to the Journal Sentinel, bad reviews aren't in TripAdvisor's best interest since the site—with an average hotel rating of 4 out of 5—receives commissions when users visit a resort website or book a vacation. Indeed, an August filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission stresses how important "bookers" are since "advertisers will not continue to do business with us if their investment … does not generate sales leads, customers, bookings, or revenue and profit." Nonetheless, a TripAdvisor rep says the company welcomes unfavorable reviews. "We're not an arbiter of fact, but we're trying to provide the most accurate picture," he says. (Read more TripAdvisor stories.)