TripAdvisor accused of censoring posts about security concerns

Corporate signage for the travel website TripAdvisor is seen at the company's headquarters, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in Needham, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

(ABC News) — TripAdvisor has 535 million users, but it’s now facing new backlash.

The Federal Trade Commission is looking into the site’s business practices for online reviews.

Some travelers say their reviews were intentionally removed about safety issues.

Christie Love from Dallas says she was raped at a Mexico resort in 2010 and tried to post about her experience on TripAdvisor back then. She says that every day, TripAdvisor would remove that post.

ABC News has not been able to confirm her account.

Related Content: New TripAdvisor feature aims to flag sexual assault concerns

An investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found that more than a dozen TripAdvisor users who say their reviews about safety issues at some hotels like blackouts after drinking and rapes were deleted or never published at all.

One mother, the journal says, was a regular at a restaurant in Maryland. The owner pleaded guilty in 2015 to having video cameras in the women’s bathroom. She tried posting her reaction on a TripAdvisor review, but says it was deleted.

TripAdvisor gives a number of reasons why they delete posts and one is that they meet the family-friendly guidelines. Another is they’re off topic.

Related Content: Family searching for answers after daughter dies at resort during vacation in Mexico

The family of Abbey Conner who died in a Mexican resort’s pool told ABC News in July they wish they could have seen negative reviews about that property before booking.

With more than 570 million reviews online right now, TripAdvisor says reviews about health and safety are important, adding, “We continue to review our guidelines and will continue to update them to better serve our users and businesses we support.”

The FTC tells ABC News whether taking down negative reviews violates the law would depend on the particular facts and TripAdvisor says they’re not aware of an FTC inquiry and haven’t been contacted by the agency.

TripAdvisor now says it will post alerts for some businesses mentioned in the news.

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