A food and interior design blogger has been jailed after posting a negative review of a restaurant she attended in Taichung, Taiwan.
Mrs Liu, who visited the Sichuan Flavor Beef Noodle Restaurant back in July 2008, wrote that the food was “too salty”, the restaurant was infested with cockroaches and the owner was a “bully”.
Lui’s blog received more than 60,000 hits on her website, before a regular customer informed Mr Yang - the restaurant owner. Yang reacted immediately, suing Lui for defamation.
The Taiwan High Court defended Liu's comments on the cockroaches, stating that they were a "narration of the facts". However, Liu was punished for criticizing the food after eating only one dish of beef noodles.
Following a thorough inspection of the restaurant, health officials found that Liu’s remarks were far from the truth. Therefore, she was ordered to pay NT$200,000 ($6,921) in compensation, sentenced to 30 days in prison and a further two years of probation.
Yang said he filed the charges because other customers were asking if the review was true. He also said that he hoped Lui had learnt her lesson.
Huang Cheng-lee, a lawyer in Taichung, reminded bloggers to remain objective and post photographs to support their comments.