Redesigning TripAdvisor for Problematic Rape Reviews

A little backstory. Two women have complained about being raped by staff from companies promoted on TripAdvisor. For those who don’t know, TripAdvisor is the go to site for people who realize they’ve yet to plan their vacation even though it’s a week away. This is the site people use to find out what is the most touristy thing to do in a foreign country. It usually contains a helpful ranking of sights to see and things to do in order of most annoyingly crowded to why is this even on here?

Anyway, back to the two women who were sexually assaulted. In emails shown to The Guardian, one of the woman, identified only as “K”, contacted TripAdvisor to let them know one of their tour guides is a rapist. This was after K told the hotel and filed a police report.

Instead of removing the business or issuing a warning on the page, TripAdvisor, in all their corporate wisdom, suggested she leave a review detailing the assault. Oh, and if she could do it in the first-person it would be better. TripAdvisor does not allow third-person rape reviews. TripAdvisor even sent her 5 helpful examples of other rape reviews she could use as a template. I imagine these were the creme de la creme of TripAdvisor rape reviews with multiple thumbs ups.

The Guardian went on to uncover another 40 examples of reviews describing sexual assault, rape and groping. A spokesperson for TripAdvisor said it is a “horrible tragedy when someone experiences a safety issue like a sexual or physical assault. TripAdvisor exists as an informational review platform for travelers to post their experiences, including incidents of traveler safety. Having a business listing on our platform isn’t an endorsement of that business.” They went on to explain that they’ve left these businesses up so others can read the rape reviews and choose to avoid it.

Of course, one problem is these rape reviews are unable to be discovered as most of the time they’re buried underneath reviews like “Great service” and “The tap water wasn’t Evian.”

Because of this, I’ve taken it upon myself to provide a few product ideas that may solve the problems of both the victims and TripAdvisor.

Filter reviews by rape

This is a no-brainer. One of the major concerns of women who browse TripAdvisor is whether or not they will be sexually assaulted if they go here. Not only will this help women quickly identify problematic destinations, but it’ll also alert them to what kind of sexual assault takes place there. Is it something like groping or more serious like premeditated rape? This filter will help you find out!

Sort businesses by least chance of being raped in

This is for those who don’t have time to read individual reviews but just want to know of places where they’re least likely to be raped in. They can then plan accordingly.

Best rape review of the month

If TripAdvisor must have their users relive their personal hell by writing a detailed account of how they were raped in an establishment promoted on the page just so they can warn others, then they might as well give recognition for the best story.

Discounts for rapey businesses

Finally, it’s not just about the users, but also the businesses. Is this business known for their sexual assaults? User studies have shown many people avoid places like these so they’re going to need some help boosting their revenue. Why not provide discounts to attract more customers? This is a win-win.

If you’re reading this TripAdvisor, feel free to implement any of these features. You don’t even have to give me credit.

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