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Restaurant suing blogger Sixthseal and Google

21.26

OK this is a new one: a restaurant - Jothy's Fish Head Curry Banana Leaf Restaurant - in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, is suing Sixthseal.com, a well-known Malaysian blogger, for saying he did not like the food at the restaurant - in fact he said it was really awful. For some reason I can't access that blog right now, but here is a screenshot of the original post. I can't say that it's a good move by the restaurant, better just to make sure their food is good and it should sort itself out.

However, it's possible that the reason why they are so annoyed is that is was recommended in Lonely Planet, so they must have been making loads of money off the tourists, and with a prominent blog post coming sixth on the Google search first page, it could be affecting their business. On the other hand, the first result is a positive four star rating from tripadvisor.com.

Anyway, it seems to me that Sixthseal has expressed a subjective opinion, and if you're going to start suing every food critic who doesn't like a restaurant (ditto for art critics, book reviewers, etc.) then there are going to be a lot of changes.

But the next bit is the strangest, and it may be a first. The restaurant is also suing Google - I suppose for providing the search engine that enables people to see the blog post.

Well - this one may be a world wide first, so Malaysia boleh! Again. But honestly it's got to be dead in the water. If the courts agreed to this, then every company will be wanting to be tell Google what to show and what not to show. Though there may be precedent in terms of Google returning searches on porn, terrorist related sites etc.

21.40

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Huai Bin on :

I am totally puzzled by this lawsuit as well. Naming Google just shows how little they know about the Internet.

Oh well, will see how it goes.

Cheers Julian!

julian on :

Ya, I just thought - if they want compensation from Google because they return an unfavourable search, does that mean Google can counter-sue for compensation for the good results the restaurant gets?

By the way, your blog is having problems recently, sometimes hard/impossible to load.

Mon on :

That's funny, if you write something good, can you claim commission?

julian on :

Well, there is a market in paid posts. But yeah, it would all get silly if every opinion online is locked down in one way or another.

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