A blogger who blasted a restaurant for being the “the place to avoid in Cap-Ferret” was sued by the restaurant’s owner and a French judge awarded damages. The blogger’s real crime? Prominence in search engines. The blogger Caroline Doudet enjoyed a high Google ranking for her post. That Google ranking allowed her review of the Bordeaux region restaurant, Il Giardino, to be easily viewed by anyone who searched for the restaurant. The judge thought that was too influential a position for blogger Doudent to occupy.
The French judge, siding with the restaurant’s complaint, essentially quashed Doudet’s right to her public opinion. She was told to change the title of her post and to pay thousands in damages. Doudet has deleted the post entirely from her blog, Cultur’elle. Doudet said the decision creates a new crime–that of “being too highly ranked, or of having too great an influence,” she told the BBC.