by Kevin Coupe

The Boston Globe is reporting that the TripAdvisor travel website has decided to start “placing symbols next to hotels and resorts that have been identified as locations of sexual assault and other major concerns … the warnings are designed to identify health, safety and discrimination issues in all of the website’s travel categories.”

The symbols will be based on media reports, as well as those from the TripAdvisor community.

The story goes on to say that “decisions to add or remove a badge will be made by an employee committee” … “Listings will not be removed from the TripAdvisor website regardless of the number of complaints” …. and that the company is positioning them as being “informative, not punitive.”

The Globe notes that TripAdvisor recently apologized to a site user for deleting her online comment about being raped at a resort by a security guard; the deletion had been because the “language” violated its policy.

But now the policy has changed. For the better, I think.

This is yet another example of what I hope is a tipping point about what society is willing to accept in terms of behavior and transparency. Reports of sexual harassment continue to get a high priority in the media, and it seems to me that people and companies are going to have to show a new sensitivity and as new willingness to publicly confront issues that in the past might’ve been ignored or downplayed.

That’s a good thing. That’s an Eye-Opener.