Trolling can sometimes be good-natured and fun. But one recent cautionary tale reveals that it can be very unwise to bash others–and businesses in particular–without at least a hint of legitimacy.
After leaving a negative review on a French version Yelp-like site, a reviewer with the username “Clarifieur” (clarifier) was fined €7,500 (around $8,200) by a French court, according to the Guardian. How was the court so sure the review was fake? Well, the restaurant hadn’t even opened yet when the review was posted.
The fake review, written about Loiseau des Ducs in Dijon in 2013, noted that the portions were small, and that the restaurant was overrated. Currently, the restaurant has 163 TripAdvisor reviews and a Michelin star, one of the highest achievements a restaurant can attain. Obviously, the owners weren’t happy about the fake review, and unlike many other businesses who suspect negative reviews are fake but struggle to prove it, the people in charge of Loiseau des Ducs could do something in this incredibly clear-cut case.
“We wanted to see the case through to teach a lesson to these people who comment to destroy,” owner Ahlame Buisard told Le Monde.