American possibly 2 years in Thai prison because of bad hotel review –


An American will think twice next time before giving a Thai hotel a bad review. The resort filed a report after a few negative reviews from the man. Now he faces up to two years in prison.

The Sea View Resort in Koh Chang accuses Wesley Barnes of a smear campaign and has therefore gone to the police. Barnes left several bad reviews on various online platforms, including TripAdvisor. That is why he was arrested this month and had to spend two nights in jail before he was released on bail.

The American stayed at the resort in June and got into a disagreement with the staff, because they charged corkage for the own drink he and a friend wanted to consume at the hotel. Barnes felt that the hotel manager was acting aggressively.

Later he posted some negative reviews online. In one of these he wrote that the foreign management “treated the staff like slaves” and even spoke of “modern slavery”. However, this review would never have appeared online, as TripAdvisor found that “the review did not match their guidelines.”

In another review, Barnes writes that the staff ‘act like they don’t want anyone in the hotel’. According to the resort, the American was first contacted personally to solve the problem, but when more reviews appeared on various websites, they went to the police.

“We have filed a complaint as a deterrent,” said a statement from the hotel. “Because we understood he might be writing new bad reviews week after week.”

Lost job
The police in Koh Chang confirm the report. Barnes is accused of ‘damaging the hotel’s reputation’. Barnes, who works in Thailand, says he has been arrested by immigration police and his passport has been confiscated. He must appear in court on October 6. He is afraid he should go to jail and has already lost his job after all the publicity surrounding the arrest.

Defamation laws are very strict in Thailand. They are being abused to silence activists and journalists. And therefore also to prevent angry reviews.

Bron (nen): The Guardian

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