FTC could act against TripAdvisor for deleting reviews with rape claims

The company logo for the travel website TripAdvisor hangs at the company's headquarters, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in Needham, Mass.

Steven Senne / AP

BOSTON -- The Federal Trade Commission could take action against TripAdvisor after the Massachusetts-based travel company was accused of deleting hotel reviews that contained allegations of rape and other crimes. 

Several people told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this month they were sexually assaulted at Mexican hotels and resorts but the online reviews that mentioned the crimes were taken down. 

The Boston Globe says after the report was published Democratic Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin wrote to the FTC, urging an investigation. 

The commission aims to prevent unfair or deceptive business practices. It responded Nov. 17, saying it will consider the information provided by Baldwin to determine whether enforcement or other action is "appropriate." 

One woman told CBS News' Tony Dokoupil about a horrific experience at a Mexican resort that TripAdvisor initially refused to post.

Kristie Love was on vacation at an all-inclusive resort -- the Iberostar Paraiso Maya -- on the Mexican Riviera when she says a hotel security guard dragged her into the bushes and raped her.

"I got up, ran through the resort. Made it to a lobby. Please call, I've been raped, I've been raped. Please call the police. 'No, we're not going to call the police ma'am,'" Love told CBS News.

When Love posted her experience on TripAdvisor upon returning to the U.S, she said it was deleted and the site repeatedly scrubbed the content, telling her it violated the company's "family-friendly" policies.

The Journal Sentinel reported that after TripAdvisor deleted Love's post, at least two more women were sexually assaulted at the same resort complex.

TripAdvisor says it's unaware of an FTC inquiry and hasn't been contacted by the commission. The company added badges to pages about hotels where sexual assaults are reported earlier this month.