Jail Time (And $7000 Fine) for Saying a Restaurant’s Dishes Were “Too Salty”

The Taipei Times reports (thanks to Vadim Novik for the pointer):

After visiting a Taichung beef noodle restaurant in July 2008, [defendant Liu] had dried noodles and side dishes, Liu wrote [on the blog] that the restaurant served food that was too salty, the place was unsanitary because there were cockroaches and that the owner was a “bully” because he let customers park their cars haphazardly, leading to traffic jams….

The High Court found that Liu’s criticism about cockroaches in the restaurant to be a narration of facts, not intentional slander.

However, the judge also ruled that Liu should not have criticized all the restaurant’s food as too salty because she only had one dish on her single visit.

Health officials who inspected the restaurant did not find conditions to be as unsanitary as Liu had described, so the High Court also ruled that Liu must pay NT$200,000 to the owner for revenues lost as a result of her blog post.

The ruling is final.