Been to Thailand? Don’t publish a bad review online!

Defamation could lead to multiple years spent in prison and a £4,915 fine.


Source: iStock Photos

Wesley Barnes has been arrested after staying at the Sea View Resort and Spa in Koh Chang in Thailand and could face up to 2 years in prison as well as having to pay a hefty fine. All of this just because of one review? 

Barnes described his experience at the hotel to be undesirable and commented on the treatment the staff received saying that managers ‘Treat the staff like slaves.’ His disagreements with the staff led the hotel manager to treat him in an aggressive manner — which he recorded in his review which he attempted to post on Trip advisor.

Following his post, the Sea View Resort and Spa filed a police complaint – after having attempted to contact Barnes privately – and took legal action by suing him. They labelled his online comment to be a ‘slanderous campaign.’. Shortly after being sued, Wesley Barnes was arrested by immigration officers and his passport was confiscated. He then spent two long nights in jail after which he was released on bail. To put this into perspective, Barnes was arrested, lost his jobs, spend two nights in jail and still awaits his court date, simply for posting a review which expressed his harsh but true opinion about a hotel.

Barnes is expected to attend court on October 6 to resolve this issue.

After scrolling through the reviews on Trip advisor, it is almost impossible to discover a single bad review (see examples of reviews below) about the hotel, leading our news team to question if this was a one off instance. Could it be possible that other tourists’ reviews have been removed due to their negative nature? On the other hand, was Barnes overexaggerating his claims in the review due to his argument with the owner?

And if negative reviews are being removed by the hotel, what does this say about the honesty of the hotel? Furthermore, is this an infringement of his freedom of speech? Has the police department failed to recognise his rights?


Positive reviews posted on Trip advisor:












Source: Tripadvisor