The Wikipedia page on the Streisand Effect should be required reading for all small business owners (and some large airlines), we might then have less idiots trying to sue their way out of bad press. The Nanfang, a Guangdong based blog and community portal, was recently threatened with legal action over the publication of a not-so-favourable review of a Dongguan restaurant.
After the Nanfang published a review of One for the Road, the site was contacted by the owner of the establishment demanding to be removed “from [the Nanfang’s] crappy, out of date listings” or face legal action.
Cam MacMurchy, editor-in-chief of the Nanfang, responded politely and professionally:
We hope to work cooperatively with One for the Road going forward. We receive substantial traffic from overseas and Hong Kong, specifically from people who are unfamiliar with Dongguan and are looking for a place to eat, have a beer, and relax. Many of these people stumble upon your bar’s listing page, and I have no doubt that many have visited your bar as a result. We have the legal right to list your bar’s information on our website, however would regretfully remove it as a courtesy should you restate your request to do so.
This politeness and professionalism was not reciprocated however by One for the Road owner Jason Cakebread:
Your review was absolute shod, we are not just here for hangovers greasy food burgers and mash!
You will have quite a few comments from customers as they were as offended by what said as I am.
I challenge you to allow those comments to remain on the review.
You will have no cooperation with us and you WILL remove us from your events and listings from today otherwise I will pursue this matter. As stated by our lawyer, you do not have the legal right to add us on your listings and events without our permission and I will test this in court.
PLEASE BELIEVE ME I HAVE ALREADY CONSULTED OUR LAWYER AND ANYONE THAT KNOWS ME WILL TELL YOU I WILL FOLLOW THROUGH!
We do not need you to help with visitors from anywhere as our reputation is far greater internationally and domestically than your website and is the main reason you are desperate to keep our name on your site.
The Nanfang’s listing of One for the Road has now been removed, as per the owner’s request (rather than his fatuous legal threats), but the review remains online. Attempting to quash dissent or bad press by the use of legal threats (fatuous or not) is bullying, pure and simple. Jason Cakebread, meet Streisand Effect.
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