French blogger fined for criticizing restaurant

Brittany A. Roston - Jul 18, 2014
French blogger fined for criticizing restaurant

A French court has fined a blogger over a negative restaurant review posted online. The restaurant in question is Il Giardino, a pizzeria, and the blog post at the heart of the matter was published back in August 2013. That blog post has since been removed, but the blogger behind it still has to pay a 2500 Euro fine.

The blog review had apparently attracted quite a bit of local attention, with the restaurant’s manager having said customers would bring a print out of it into the store and say it had made them “reluctant to come”. Similarly, the critique had hit a high rank on Google, being one of the first results when the restaurant was searched.

The restaurant owner took legal action, and their lawyer is quoted as having said the article “caused great harm to my client.” The court ultimately ordered the blogger to alter the review’s title, but the writer decided to pull the entire post. She also has to pay 1,500 Euros in damage and 1,000 Euros in court fees.

“I understand that the article could upset the manager, but the consequences seem disproportionate to me,” said the blogger. She went on to say that if bloggers aren’t free to write critical evaluations, than the value of positive reviews decrease as a result.

SOURCE: Venture Beat

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