Il blog di E-Lex

The week in Italy No. 1 – Two cases on defamation via Tripadvisor and Facebook

An Italian professor has been sued for defamation after posting on Tripadvisor a critical review of a restaurant. According to the user, prices, service and, above all, quality of food and wine are inadequate to the standard of the restaurant, which could be one of the most famous and expensive of Bologna.
Most of all, the post criticizes the wine which would not been only bad, but even “undrinkable”. “I do not mean bad wine” – says the reviewer – “I’m talking about spoiled wine spoiled, which could cause health problems”.
The owners of the restaurant stand on the opinion that this comment is offensive and defamatory and, for this reason, sued the user, who has been investigated by the Public Prosecutor, and has received an invitation to appear before the public authority and defend her position.
The restaurant specifies that it appreciates Tripadvisor and that the popular platform has not been required to remove the post or involved in the legal case.

Italian media are also focusing their attention on another interesting case.
An Italian journalist has criticized the poster of a private school representing a teenager with a strong make-up, passing a lipstick on her lips, by saying “your posters and your banners are just chilling…Congratulations for the representation of women you offer… Have you been hibernated in the fifties and then woke up all of a sudden?”. Similarly, the journalist also expresses her view on her Facebook page, quoting and modifying the commercial jingle used by the school.
The school sued the woman for her expressions, assuming that they are defamatory. However, the journalist replies that she has not lied but only expressed an opinion and made a joke which was legitimate in the specific contest.

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