Thai hotel to drop lawsuit that carried prison time against American who posted negative reviews

Nation/world
Blue water lines the coast of Koh Chang island in March 2018, Trat Province, southern Thailand. (AP Photo/Phusit wirutthanatporn)

Blue water lines the coast of Koh Chang island in March 2018, Trat Province, southern Thailand. (AP Photo/Phusit wirutthanatporn)

A hotel in Thailand that filed a criminal defamation suit against a guest who posted negative reviews about it online says it will drop the complaint if he makes apologies and other gestures to restore its reputation.

The lawsuit filed last month by the Sea View Koh Chang Hotel could result in up to seven years in prison for American Wesley Barnes, who teaches English in Thailand, if he is found guilty of defamation and violation of the Computer Crime Act by posting false information online.

The hotel was also criticized for taking such harsh action. It said it was necessary to protect its reputation and that Barnes had failed to retract his reviews on travel websites.

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