- French blogger Caroline Doudet was ordered to pay damages to restaurant
- Judge also ordered the title of the restaurant review to be altered
- Restaurant owners sued Ms Doudet claiming the review was hurting their business
PUBLISHED: 03:20 EST, 18 July 2014 | UPDATED: 06:20 EST, 18 July 2014
A French blogger has been fined £1,200 after a judge ruled a negative restaurant review appeared too high on Google searches.
Caroline Doudet was also ordered to amend the title of her review, written in August 2013, which described the restaurant as 'the place to avoid in Cap-Ferret.'
Owners of the Il Giardino restaurant, in the Aquitaine region of southwestern France, sued Ms Doudet claiming the review, which appeared fourth in Google searches, was hurting their business.
A French blogger has been fined £1,200 after writing a negative review of the Il Giardino restaurant, in the Aquitaine region of southwestern France
A judge in Bordeaux this month ordered the review's title be altered and told Ms Doudet to pay the restaurant €1,500 in damages, along with €1,000 to cover the compainant's costs.
Ms Doudet told the BBC: 'This decision creates a new crime of "being too highly ranked [on a search engine]", or of having too great an influence.
'What is perverse, is that we look for bloggers who are influential, but only if they are nice about people.'
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Ms Doudet's blog, Cultur'elle, has about 3,000 followers, which the judge said had exacerbated the damage caused to the restaurant.
The restaurant owner told French website Arrêt sur Images, as cited by the BBC: 'Maybe there were some errors in the service, that happens sometimes in the middle of August - I recognise that.
'But this article showed in the Google search results and did my business more and more harm, even though we have worked seven days a week for 15 years. I could not accept that.'
Ms Doudet's blog, Cultur'elle has about 3,000 followers, which the judge said had exacerbated the damage caused to the restaurant
While the decision is believed to be the first time an unpaid blogger has been ordered to pay damages following a negative review, the case is not thought to have created legal precedence in France because it was an emergency measure.
Ms Doudet has decided to delete the review, rather than change the title, because it was 'easier',Wired.co.uk has reported.
Earlier this month it was reported South Tyneside Council had spent £200,000 on a hunt for a notorious internet blogger known as Mr Monkey after he insulted local councillors.
The anonymous writer referred to councillors as ‘Pudgy Face’, ‘Miss Piggy’, ‘King of Sleaze’ and ‘The Fat Mackem Hobbit’ as he promised to ‘expose the truth’ behind their alleged lies.
Despite the internet troll abandoning the blog in 2009, the north east council have only just called off the manhunt - having spent the last five years searching for him.
The council launched the search after insisting they had a ‘duty of care’ to protect their employees from malicious accusations made online.