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Food Blogger Jailed for Calling Noodles "Too Salty"

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TAIPEI -- A woman was jailed for 30 days by a Taiwanese court for writing on her food blog that a restaurant's noodles were too salty.

The blogger, named only as Liu, visited a Taichung beef noodle restaurant in 2008 and wrote on her blog that the cuisine there was "too salty," that the venue was unsanitary because there were cockroaches and that the owner was a "bully," the Taipei Times reported Thursday.

The restaurant's owner, known as Yang, learned about the review from a regular customer and sued Liu for defamation.

The Taichung District Court found that Liu's comments about the cockroaches were a "narration of the facts" but ruled that her criticism of the restaurant exceeded reasonable bounds because she only tried the noodles and two side dishes.

She was sentenced to 30 days in detention, two years of probation and was ordered her to pay $6,900 in compensation to the restaurant after an inspection found that the conditions were sanitary.

Liu, who apologized to the restaurant, was told by the judge that she could not appeal against the decision.

Yang said that he hoped the case would teach her a lesson.

Huang Cheng-lee, a lawyer in Taichung, said that bloggers who post restaurant reviews should remember to be "truthful, objective and fair" and should post photographs to support their comments.