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Blogger fined for bad review

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A blogger from France has been fined €1,500 (around $2,000 or £1,200), after a court found that her negative review of a restaurant was showing up too highly in Google and unfairly affecting the restaurant’s business.

The blogger, Caroline Doudet, was also told to change the title of the post, which has now been deleted.

Under French law, a judge can issue an emergency order to force a person to cease any activity they find to be harming the other party in the dispute. Since this case and fine is an emergency measure, it doesn’t create a legal precedent and is unlikely to lead to lots of other bloggers being fined for bad reviews.

Caroline Doudet was sued by the owner of Il Giardino restaurant in the Aquitaine region of France after she wrote a post entitled “the place to avoid in Cap-Ferret: Il Giardino”.

Her SEO must’ve been pretty good, because the review appeared fourth in the results of a Google search for the restaurant. The restauranteur then took the case to court, and the judge decided that the blog’s title should be changed, so that the phrase: “the place to avoid” was less prominent in the results.

“This decision creates a new crime of ‘being too highly ranked [on a search engine]’, or of having too great an influence’,” Ms Doudet told the BBC.

“What is perverse, is that we look for bloggers who are influential, but only if they are nice about people,” she added.

So where does that leave other bloggers who write reviews? After all, nobody likes everything all of the time, and if we don’t like something then we should be able to say so.

First of all – be clear about what is fact and what is opinion. Just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean that someone else will agree. Whatever you review will have good points as well as bad, so be fair and include those too. If you’re not sure, ask around and do some research – maybe look at other reviews already online and see how your experience compares.

For more on this subject check out our guide to writing a bad review on your blog

 

image credit: zeevveez

 

 

 

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11 Comments to “Blogger fined for bad review”

  1. Lexie says:

    I don’t think this is fair – the whole point of having a blog is so you can say your opinion and okay changing the title but being fined £1200 in my money is outrageous!!

    • PIE EATER says:

      You sure are right lexie,blogs ARE for you’r opinion.I thought that was what blogs are for…Maybe I’m wrong.Ima just copy and paste this..:)

      Hi I have a newish blog could you Please Please come check it out? Here’s the link—–>http://connorscreepychronicles.blogspot.com.au/  I’m Not Meaning To milk off this blog, that’s just how it’s done.

      Can you come help out? You’ll get another Follower too! Win-Win Situation

  2. Tom says:

    In 2016 I am going to go to France and I may try this restaurant- but i won’t eat snails! I want to see if it is as bad as she says 🙂

  3. Corinna says:

    Wow I can’t imagine this happening in the US and would be furious if the same punishment occurred. I’d imagine that this case has gotten a ton of press and people will be flocking to the restaurant just to see what all the fuss is about. I’m sure they’ll benefit from this situation more than it has hurt them.

  4. JupiterScoop says:

    Go follow my blog!!

  5. G&P says:

    That’s not fair! It’s there opinion,

  6. G&P says:

    That’s not fair! It’s there opinion,

  7. G&P says:

    That’s not fair! It’s there opinion,

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