Hopefully us UK food bloggers can file this piece of news from today in the ‘French oddity’ folder but…………
A French judge has ruled against a blogger because her scathing restaurant review was too prominent in Google search results.
The judge ordered that the post’s title be amended and told the blogger Caroline Doudet to pay damages.
Ms Doudet said the decision made it a crime to be highly ranked on search engines.
The BBC has reported.
Sadly the entire posting which cause the complaint has now been deleted – despite the judgement only being restricted to the title – but apparently it detailed poor service and the headline highlighted it as a ‘place to avoid’.
One of the most worrying things about the judgement was the fact the judge took into account the number of Doudet’s followers and apparently considered around 3,000 followers to be a significant number.
When websites, blogs, tweets etc. fall foul of the law in the UK, their following, reach and number of viewings the offending articles is also taken into account – but that’s when they have committed some sort of offence in order to assess damage.
In this case, there was no case put or tried. 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.
And Doudet has said she did not believe she will appeal because she did “not want to relive weeks of anguish”.