One Internet commenter in France will have less to spend on French cuisine after being fined for writing a review of an eatery that had yet to open.
A French court earlier this month ordered the reviewer, who has not been named publicly, to pay a total of 7,500 euros (approximately $8,200) for writing the negative review of Loiseau Des Ducs in the city of Dijon. The July 2013 post called the restaurant “very overrated” and with “very little on the plate,” according to The Guardian.
The scathing review was posted five days before the restaurant opened, according to a report by French newspaper Bien Public that was translated by The Local, a France-based English-language news site.
The author, who self-identified as the “Clarifieur” (The Clarifier) on Pages Juanes, a Yelp-like review site, will be forced to pay 5,000 euros in costs and an additional 2,500 euros in compensation to the restaurant, The Guardian said.
According to the BBC, the director of the group that owns the restaurant said his company was not against reviews either negative or positive and that its legal pursuit of the fake reviewer was a matter of principle.
Based on a ranking of 163 TripAdvisor reviews presumably posted by people who actually ate at Loiseau Des Ducs, the restaurant appears to be one of the top places to eat in Dijon. The restaurant has also earned a Michelin star, a highly sought after mark of a restaurant’s excellence.