Many travelers from the US claim that travel website TripAdvisor has deleted direct personal experiences of blackouts, injuries, and even rape which have occurred during several different vacations to another country. This is according to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's extensive investigation that was published on Wednesday.
The damning report came two days after US officials asked Inspector General's Office and the State Department to conduct a more thorough investigation on the resorts that may still be serving bootleg alcohol even up to this day.
Tourists who were interviewed by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel assert that their reviews were removed frequently because TripAdvisor labeled them as "hearsay."
One of the victims told the newspaper that TripAdvisor is censoring reviews.
"It was not hearsay because it happened to me as well," exclaimed the victim from Phoenix after her comment of being blacked out after she was served a drink at a bar was taken down.
Below are some of the claims that have been deleted from TripAdvisor:
● 35-year-old and a resident of Dallas, Kirstie Love, posted 7 years ago that she was raped by one of the security guards at Iberostar Paraiso. In the post that was deleted, she said that the guard followed her. When he had the opportunity, he overpowered and then raped her. Love also claims that the staff members of the hotel refused to report the incident to the police. Love's post was deleted because TripAdvisor saw it as a violation of website’s guidelines. The post was deleted by a site’s moderator according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
● 34-year old Jamie Valeri wrote in 2015 that she experienced sexual assault at the same Mexican resort. Her husband also suffered a broken hand after they both blacked out. Valeri said they only had three drinks. The account of Valeri was corroborated by the newspaper publication through phone and email records, interviews, medical reports, and receipts. TripAdvisor deleted her posts because they claim that they are "hearsay."
● Josh Resmini tried posting a review of a resort on October 16th where he was sexually assaulted and drugged by a masseuse. He told a newspaper publication that the hotel doesn’t want to claim responsibility. A day after he posted the review, TripAdvisor told him that his post isn't allowed on the site. Once again, they cited "hearsay" as the reason for deleting it.
The travel giant based in Massachusetts said that they have hired hundreds of employers to check every single post that's published on their website. It also said that it uses software to detect fake accounts and reviews.
TripAdvisor gets its income from hotels whenever tourists click their links. Others also pay commissions when there are bookings, reported the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Iberostar Hotels and Resorts gave a statement and said that it does not tolerate any type of inappropriate or illegal conduct within its property grounds. It also said that it will investigate the case of Love and others.