Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bad review

I've been following this story about the curry fish head restaurant that sued a blogger.

Google to retain ‘offensive’ contents on fish head curry outlet

KOTA KINABALU: Search engine giant Google has said that it cannot remove Internet contents deemed offensive to a fish head curry restaurant here.

A company spokesman said in a statement that Google’s policy does not allow it to remove contents provided through its searches except for illegal matters such as child pornography among others.

Furthermore, the search results Google provided to users reflected the contents available on the Internet, the spokesman added.

“In these cases or in cases where we are compelled by local or international law to remove content, we make these actions transparent using public, third party sites such as,” the official added.

On Monday, the director of a fish head curry restaurant that is recommended by Lonely Planet, sued a blogger and Google for defamation.

Jothys Sdn Bhd director Tharumaraj Sivaperumal filed a RM6mil civil suit at the Kota Kinabalu High Court.

He named blogger Poh Huai Bin as the first defendant and California-based Google Inc as the second defendant.

The suit was over allegedly defamatory statements made about Jothys Fish Head Curry Restaurant here which was posted in May last year by Poh, who is originally from Sibu, Sarawak and who now resides in Kuala Lumpur.

The company, which is represented by counsel Marcel Jude Joseph, is seeking exemplary or punitive damages and an order to restrain Poh from defaming the restaurant on the Internet.

The company is also seeking an order from the court to remove the offending articles from Google and other popular search engines used on the Internet.

Tharumaraj said he felt very let down when the blogger demeaned his fish head curry and banana leaf restaurant and urged the people to “avoid it like a bad case of herpes.”

He added that if one used Yahoo or other search engines, the offending blog does not appear immediately but in Google, it would show up first.

I did read his blog on the google cache and he wrote a bad review of the restaurant. Now normally, most restaurant owners would just brush of a bad review but this review must have really gotten onto his nerves.

I think they would most probably reach an out of court settlement.

My solution? Improve the food and service, invite a bunch of bloggers over and see if they write a better review. Now everyone knows your food really sucks because they're probably like me, reading the google cache of the original bad review of the restaurant.


Cheerioet said...

yup, if he wanted to salvage his business, he should invite other food reviewer and blogger to write their own review...and the blogger being sued, has his own opinion.
nice post...

luxen said...

It's probably going to cost the guy more in legal fees to sue the guy.

Besides, if he ever does win his legal suit, the blogger will declare bankruptcy and the restaurant owner's business will still not improve.

Steven said...

Seems Google are ready to defend against the action. I suppose it’s high time that the outdated law of defamation must be revamp to suit modern technology, society and time. People who is not the author, editor or publisher of the statement complained of should not be held liable, especially on the World Wide Web of the internet. I don’t know how these people (like Google) would have known of such defamatory statement. Google strongly believe in freedom of expression and it would be contradicting if they go against their policies. I take my hate off to Google. You can read more on what rights the restaurant can sue Google at

luxen said...

I think the lawsuit was meant to coincide with Google opening their office in Malaysia. I bet Google has a large panel of lawyers just for this.