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Blogger Fined $3,400 for Her Negative Restaurant Review

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Il Giardino, blogger Caroline Doudet
Il Giardino, blogger Caroline Doudet
Photos: Google Maps/Google+

A food blogger in France has been fined 1500 euros ($2,040 USD) for writing a negative review of a restaurant. According to Arret Sur Images (translated), Caroline Doudet wrote an unflattering review of Il Giardino, an Italian restaurant in Cap-Ferret, France in August of 2013 on her blog Les Chroniques Culturelles. She was brought to court six months later by the restaurant.

In the review (cached and translated), Doudet wrote that people should avoid the restaurant and that the boss is a "diva." The team behind the restaurant believe that the "article was more of an insult" than a critique. Sud Ouest reports (translated) that the lawyer for the restaurant claims that the post caused "great harm" to his client because when the restaurant was Googled, the negative review was one of the first results.

The court asked the blogger to "change the title" of the article, but Doudet decided to delete the post the day after the hearing. Arret Sur Images reports that this is the first time an amateur blogger that doesn't generate any income has been fined for writing a negative review. Sud Ouest quotes Doudet as saying, "If bloggers do not have the freedom to write negative reviews, positive reviews make no sense either." Doudet was also charged an additional 1000 Euros ($1,360 USD) to cover the costs of the proceedings.

UPDATE, 7/12: This post has been updated to correctly reflect the name of the blogger.

UPDATE, 7/15: Doudet spoke with Eater via email, check out what she had to say here.

· Critique De Restaurant: Blogueuse Condamnée [Arret Sur Images]
· Une Blogueuse Condamnée [Sud Ouest]
· All France Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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