Sigh, the life of a food blogger or critic is tough sometimes. And never was that more evident than the recent case of a Taiwanese blogger who was jailed for giving a restaurant a bad review.

The Taipei Times reports the blogger, surnamed Liu, wrote that “a restaurant’s beef noodles were too salty.” Because of this, the Taichung branch of the Taiwan High Court sentenced her to 30 days in jail and two years of probation, while also having to compensate the restaurant for any business lost.

After visiting the restaurant in 2008, Liu wrote “the restaurant served food that was too salty, the place was unsanitary because of cockroaches and the owner was a bully because he let customers park their cars haphazardly, leading to traffic jams.”

When the restaurant’s owner heard about the blog post, he filed defamation charges against her. The court ruled that Liu’s post “exceeded reasonable bounds.”

It’s an interesting quandary in the food-writing universe as more and more people blog about food and provide their own restaurant reviews. While this case may be one extreme, I have heard that many food critics will simply not put up a really harsh review, especially for smaller, neighborhood restaurants, because they don’t want to kill that business. Then there are some who believe that a review is a review and they have an obligation to their readers to disseminate the truth. Be interested to hear others thoughts on the role of a food critic or blogger.

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Photo Credit: marine_perez, via Wikimedia Commons