The Reviews Are In: Taiwan Food Blogger Must Do Time

This might make you think twice about complaining the next time the food you’re served in a restaurant is too salty. Well, if you’re going to blog about it or post a review on Yelp, anyway. For it seems salt is the reason a female food blogger in Taiwan drew a jail sentence after a restaurant she reviewed filed a suit objecting to how the restaurant’s food was described. In her review, the blogger said the restaurant’s food was too salty, and that she observed cockroaches while dining. Of the two complaints, one would think the mention of cockroaches would be the greater concern. Not so; for in ruling on the restaurant’s complaint against the blogger, a Taiwan judge determined that noting the presence of the bugs was merely part of the blogger’s narrative describing the restaurant. Labeling the sampled food too salty, apparently, amounted to a defamatory statement which the Taiwanese court determined was excessive and damaging to the restaurant and its owner. As a result, the food blogger must serve 30 days in jail, and was fined about US $7,000 for the infraction. An odd story, at least to us. But just to be safe, we’re going to cook at home tonight (Taipei Times – Food Blogger in Hot Water). The Toronto Globe and Mail has additional details about this strange case.