Numerous allegations have reportedly been made against Massachusetts-based TripAdvisor, saying the website removed user reviews of some hotel resorts in Mexico that focused on experienced sexual assaults or rape.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a posed question from a woman in July asking if she should travel with her husband to Rivera Maya was met with 55 replies, 27 of which were eventually removed.
The remaining posts reportedly gave positive feedback, while the content of the removed posts remains unknown.
The Journal Sentinel reports a recent review of a Mexican resort by someone who said they experienced a blackout from a small amount of alcohol at a poolside bar was one of the removed posts.
The Journal Sentinel requested to see the removed posts, but TripAdvisor refused to show the content of those removed posts and in their place left reasoning for their removal, including "off-topic" reviews or "hearsay."
TripAdvisor said it's building a "badge" notification that can be applied to businesses in the event of "health and safety or discrimination issues.
"TripAdvisor has always maintained - since our founding - a strict separation between our commerce and content businesses," TripAdvisor said in a statement to NBC Boston. "Despite assertions and statements made by a recent USA Today article, there is no tie between commercial relationships with our partners and how our content guidelines are applied to reviews or forum posts published on the site."
In 2010, a woman posted a review of a Mexican resort owned by Iberostar, where she was reportedly raped by a uniformed guard.
That post was removed by TripAdvisor because of "family friendly" criteria, but has since been republished, according to TripAdvisor.
"Since 2010, when the forum post was removed, our policies and processes have evolved to better provide information like this to other travelers," TripAdvisor said to NBC Boston.
"In fact, a simple Internet search will show numerous reviews from travelers over the last several years who wrote about their first hand experiences that include matters of robbery or theft, assault and rape," the statement added. "We believe any first hand experience should be posted to our site as a means to communicate to other consumers looking for information on where they should travel."
Suzanne Bowering, a travel agent at Holiday Travel, says her customers oftentimes get her first-hand experience when booking through her agency.
"I've been to a lot of the places, I've been in the business for many, many years," she said.
Bowering said it's important for customers to have all the necessary information before booking a vacation.
"This is something special -- it's dreams, a lot of dreams -- and you need to work with your customers," she said.