Avoiding bad publicity, European edition

July 20, 2014

I know, it’s not fair to make fun of Europe — but it’s so much fun! I hope Europeans will do the same for us, if there’s anything left after Stewart, Colbert, and Oliver are done. (Oliver’s American now, right?) 

You probably know that in Europe, search engines are now required to forget things on request. While the details are worked out, this small piece of entertainment showed up in Lowering the Bar (lightly edited):

The BBC reports a French judge has ordered a blogger to pay $2,000 and change the title of a post because it was too critical of a restaurant she reviewed. Caroline Doudet posted on her blog that she was unhappy with the service and attitude she received at Il Giardino in Cap-Ferret, and titled the post “The place to avoid in Cap-Ferret: Il Giardino.” The judge agreed with Il Giardino that this caused the bad review of Il Giardino to become “too prominent on Google” and ordered the title to be changed. As a result, the phrase “the place to avoid” will no longer be associated with Il Giardino in any way.

A great illustration of the Barbra Streisand effect, in which fighting bad PR spreads the word more widely. Piling on is in bad taste — and a penalty in hockey — but it’s also fun, so we’ll add: place to avoid in Cap-Ferret: Il Giardino. We’ll see you there, it could be our kind of place.

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