Negative review on Tripadvisor led American guy to jail

“Unfriendly staff” who “act like they don’t want anyone here.” – review of the Sea View Resort at Koh Chang island by American Wesley Barnes, landed him in jail.

Sea View Resort owner filed a complaint to Colonel Thanapon Taemsara of Koh Chang police that the defendant had posted unfair reviews on his hotel on the Tripadvisor website.

Barnes was accused of causing “damage to the reputation of the hotel,” and of quarrelling with staff over not paying a corkage fee for alcohol brought to the hotel.

He was later arrested by immigration police. He was briefly detained and then freed on bail.

The maximum sentence Barnes faces is two years in prison, along with a 200,000 baht (RM26,000) fine.

Earlier this year, a Thai journalist was sentenced to two years in prison for posting a tweet referencing a dispute over working conditions at a chicken farm owned by the Thammakaset company.

Thailand‘s notorious anti-defamation laws have long drawn scrutiny from human rights and press freedom groups, who say powerful players use it as a weapon to stifle freedom of expression.

(Photo credit: 123RF)

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