Have you ever gone to a restaurant and not been completely satisfied with your visit? Maybe the food was poor or the service was not up to your standards. Have you then gone online and write a review about your poor dining experience? Did the owner then start a campaign against you referring to you in a defamatory manner?
This is exactly what happened to Elayna Katz, a 42 year old woman, in Nove,ber 2012, who had written an online review about Mambo Nuevo Latino restaurant in Ottawa. The owner, Marisol Simoes then hit back at the review and started a 2 year campaign to humiliate Katz. She branded Katz as a “lonely, unstable, sexually insatiable transsexual”. Simoes had also set up a dating site under Katz’s name and sent various emails impersonating her. Katz described this ordeal as a very embarrassing time.
Simoes was then charged by Ottawa police under Canada’s defamation laws which are rarely used. She was found guilty of 2 counts of libel and was sentenced, facing up to 5 years in prison.
This further highlights the dangers of online reviewing and the defamation it can prompt. In this case it was the owner of a restaurant who was harassing a reviewer but in many other cases online reviews do prompt responses from other individuals. As mentioned in my previous blog, a similar incident happened to an Amazon customer. Read the article on defamation lawyer.