Author of fake TripAdvisor reviews gets jail term

Website civil plaintiff in case

(ANSA) - Rome, September 12 - A criminal court in the southern city of Lecce has sentenced a person found guilty of writing fake reviews on TripAdvisor to a nine-month jail term.
    The court also hit the owner of PromoSalento, which sold fake reviews using false identities to businesses seeking to raise their profiles, with a fine of 8,000 euros. It is set to be a landmark ruling as it is one of the first legal cases of its kind. TripAdvisor was a civil plaintiff in the case.
    "We think this is a historic sentence for the Internet," said TripAdvisor's Vice-president and Associate General Counsel Brad Young.
    "Writing false reviews has always been a breach of the law but this is the first time that the result is a cheat being sent to prison".
    Under the Italian judicial system, rulings are not definitive until the appeals process has been exhausted and terms of under two years are usually suspended.
   

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