Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Truthful Restaurant Reviews and Freedom of Speech

I am concerned about Mark's lawsuit (Benihana vs Mark 2:48am) as it will set a precedent for other lawsuits to follow.  People have left comments for Mark, me, and on other blogs saying that it is not an issue of freedom of speech.  Ah, but It IS a “freedom of speech thing.”

I left this as a comment on Mark's blog, but I think it is worthy of a full post because I feel strongly about it.

I can’t write a TRUTHFUL restaurant review and have it published in a magazine. Why? Because the magazine owners are afraid they will be sued. If my review is negative:  no story.

(Sidenote:  I can't write about certain other topics either as publishers are afraid of being sued.  Again, that IS a freedom of speech issue.  I wrote about negative aspects of a health club in a magazine, it was published, and the health club owner threatended to sue the management rather than fixing -- what from MY perspective were - problems.)

Have you EVER read a negative restaurant review in a magazine here? The rest of the world feels free to tell the truth: good OR bad. Not here.

This (Mark's review of Benihana) was a perspective piece on a blog; A truthful personal opinion. They are SUING him for it.I don’t understand why some people think it is NOT a “freedom of speech” thing.



Abdul Basit said...

The restaurant getting a bad review dosent mean that they need to sue him for the review. instead many restaurants would prefer reviews to see their performance.with the review they can see their performance.just because they couldnt earn money,they sued him to make a quick money out and save their ass from closing down.they should ask the blogger what he preferred, and where did they go wrong in serving him.Business isn't done this way suing customers.

Anonymous said...

Ya, I totally agree! This lawsuit is a big deal concerning bloggers and freedom of speech! However, I have faith in the judiciary system here in Kuwait that they will honor and respect freedom of speech and to express one's personal opinion especially when it comes to consumer issues! Benihana is being absolutely ridiculous in suing Mark -- I love reading blogs and their reviews here and I totally get that it's a personal opinion and not a full frontal attack -- Mark's review would never have stopped me from going to Benihana but this silly, immature lawsuit that threatens freedom of speech will.

Restaurant reviews said...

Restaurant prepares and serves food, drink and dessert to customers in return for money. Meals are generally served and eaten on premises but many restaurants also offer take-out and food delivery services. Thanks a lot....

Frank Melocco said...

I am also agree with your discussion...its all depends on restaurant services.