Home Hotel Review Thai hotel to drop charges against guest facing jail for bad reviews
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Thai hotel to drop charges against guest facing jail for bad reviews

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A hotel in Thailand has agreed to drop charges against an American guest who faced up to two years in jail over negative reviews, including accusations of ‘modern day slavery,’ as long as he issues a public apology for his comments. Wesley Barnes, an American teacher in Thailand, gave a formal apology to the four-star $60-a-night Sea View Resort Koh Chang on Friday following his arrest for defamation and the international media coverage. Sea View Resort asked that Barnes make a ‘sincere apology’ for his reviews that mentioned ‘slave labor, xenophobic comments against hotel staff, and comparing the hotel to coronavirus on multiple occasions and website platforms.”All of the statements that I made are completely untrue,’ wrote Barnes in a statement, per The New York Times. ‘These reviews and comments were written out of anger and malice. Now, I, Mr. Barnes, have regretted my actions and would like to apologize to Sea View Koh Chang, and its staff.’ As part of his settlement with Sea View Resort, Barnes also released a statement to news organizations who covered the story. He took responsibility for ‘for my repeatedly false and untrue statements/reviews made to maliciously defame Sea View Koh Chang.’  The hotel also requested Barnes send similar recanting statements to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the U.S. Embassy and the Tripadvisor by October 30 explaining that his poor reviews were written in anger.’After all conditions are met, the hotel will then withdraw the charges against the offender,’ Col. Kissana Phathanacharoen, deputy spokesman for the Royal Thai Police, told NYT.The hotel filed a complaint against Barnes in August after he posted what the hotel said were false, defamatory and ‘unfair’ write-ups after a disagreement over a 500 baht ($16) corkage fee.According documents shared online by Richard Barrow, a British expat travel blogger in Thailand, one TripAdvisor review by Barnes in July said he encountered ‘unfriendly staff’ who ‘act like they don’t want anyone here’.  ‘Unfriendly staff, no one ever smiles. They act like they don’t want anyone there. The restaurant manager was the worst…There are other hotels with better-friendlier staff.’A similiar reiteration of Barnes’ initial TripAdvisor review appeared in two additional Google Reviews linked to him. At least one review was posted in June on TripAdvisor accusing the hotel of ‘modern day slavery’ — which the site removed after a week for violating its guidelines.’Do not sleep here!’ a review said. ‘Don’t support modern day slavery of Thai people! The staff are unfriendly because of their management…’ part of the review read.  Share this article Share He disparaged a staffer in the reviews, saying ‘not only does he treat the staff like slaves, he also acts like he is more important and better than the guests…Please, don’t support this modern day slavery.’One review flagged by the hotel included Barnes writing to ‘avoid this place as if it was the coronavirus.’  I

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