In Brief

French Food Blogger Fined $3,400 for Bad Review

Screenshot of cached version of Caroline Doudet's negative review of Il Giardino (via
Screenshot of cached version of Caroline Doudet’s negative review of Il Giardino (via

A French court has ordered a blogger to pay €2,500 (~$3,380) for writing a negative review of a restaurant, Eater reported. Il Giardino, an Italian restaurant located in Cap-Ferret, France, sued blogger Caroline Doudet after she visited the establishment last summer and posted a scathing review of the place (which she’s since deleted but has been cached): the headline read, “L’endroit à éviter au Cap-Ferret: Il Giardino,” which translates to, “The Place to Avoid in Cap-Ferret: Il Giardino.”

Doudet went on to discuss not only the food but also the service, calling the boss “a diva.” This likely gave the restaurant grounds — or at least chutzpah — for its suit, as France has notably strict libel laws. The restaurant’s legal team claimed the article was “more of an insult” than a critical review and said its high appearance in Google search results was causing them to lose customers.

Lest you think these kinds of lawsuit are limited to France: they’re not. The 21st century may have wrought the death of the critic, but it has also birthed defamation lawsuits like never before.

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