Woman says TripAdvisor removed her rape report, then lied about apologizing to her

Kristie Love (YouTube)

A Dallas woman who attempted to warn travelers on TripAdvisor about a resort in Mexico where she said she was raped by a security guard — only to see her post removed from the site — has spoken out once more against the travel site after TripAdvisor CEO Steve Kaufer wrote on LinkedIn that the company had apologized to her.

“WHAT APOLOGY?” wrote Kristie Love in a reply to the LinkedIn post. “I’ve yet to hear a word from TripAdvisor, and certainly not an apology!”

In a letter to Kaufer, she described his so-called apology, which she dismissed as a “press release” issued on November 1, using the same descriptor that TripAdvisor used when justifying the removal of her rape claim from their site — “hearsay.”

In her letter, she added that she had written the review of the resort in an attempt to protect other travelers who might visit. Worse than the lack of an actual apology, she said, was that the company had apparently been indifferent to the safety of its users. TripAdvisor’s profits are largely driven to booking of resorts on the site, and an investigation by The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel revealed that the company allowed countless numbers of “trusted community members,” who might be local property owners or guides with a financial interest in attracting tourists, to remove forum posts as they pleased.

“Six months after my warnings were deleted, my nightmare and motivating reason for pursuing this criminal became reality,” Love wrote. “I was contacted by the parents of a 19-year-old girl from New Jersey who was also raped by a security guard at the same property while on vacation with her family … Since the family owned a travel agency and significantly relied on the reviews of TripAdvisor both in their business and personally, I am quite confident this would have never occurred had my story NOT been removed.”

In response to Love’s claim and those of dozens of others, TripAdvisor is now including warning “badges” on resorts that caution travellers that “media reports or events” about the location merit “additional research for information … when making your travel plans.”

Watch The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s interview with Love below.

Read the full story at USA Today.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is independent of and separate from any views of The New York Times.