An American has been sued by an island resort in Thailand over a destructive TripAdvisor review, authorities stated Saturday, and will withstand two years in prison if discovered responsible. Domestic tourism continues to be taking place in Thailand, the place coronavirus numbers are comparatively low, with locals and expats heading to near-empty resorts — together with Koh Chang island, famed for its sandy seashores and turquoise waters.
But a current go to to the Sea View Resort on the island landed Wesley Barnes in hassle after he wrote unflattering on-line critiques about his vacation.
“The Sea View Resort owner filed a complaint that the defendant had posted unfair reviews on his hotel on the Tripadvisor website,” Colonel Thanapon Taemsara of Koh Chang police informed AFP.
He stated Barnes was accused of inflicting “damage to the reputation of the hotel”, and of quarrelling with employees over not paying a corkage price for alcohol dropped at the lodge.
Barnes, who works in Thailand, was arrested by immigration police and returned to Koh Chang the place he was briefly detained after which freed on bail.
According to the Tripadvisor review Barnes posted in July, he encountered “unfriendly staff” who “act like they don’t want anyone here.”
The Sea View Resort stated authorized motion was solely taken as a result of Barnes had penned a number of critiques on totally different websites over the previous few weeks. The resort’s assertion was posted on Twitter by Richard Barrow, a journey blogger with greater than 167,000 followers.
At least one was posted in June on Tripadvisor accusing the lodge of “modern day slavery” — which the location eliminated after per week for violating its pointers.
“We chose to file a complaint to serve as a deterrent, as we understood he may continue to write negative reviews week after week for the foreseeable future,” the lodge stated, including that employees had tried to contact Barnes earlier than submitting the grievance.
Barnes didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
Thailand’s infamous anti-defamation legal guidelines have lengthy drawn scrutiny from human rights and press freedom teams, who say highly effective gamers use it as a weapon to stifle free expression.
The most sentence is 2 years in prison, together with a 200,000 baht ($6,300) superb.
Last December, a Thai journalist was sentenced to two years in prison for posting a tweet referencing a dispute over working situations at a rooster farm owned by the Thammakaset firm.