An American is facing 2 years in prison after leaving a bad Tripadvisor review for a Thailand resort

  • Wesley Barnes, an American working in Thailand, is facing two years in prison in the country after leaving a negative review on a Tripadvisor page for Sea View Resort on Koh Chang Island. 
  • The owner of the resort filed a defamation complaint against Barnes, saying Barnes had written negative reviews on multiple platforms.
  • Barnes was arrested by immigration police and has been released on bail. 
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An American is facing up to two years in prison after an island resort in Thailand sued him over a negative Tripadvisor review.

The owner of the Sea View Resort on Thailand's Koh Chang Island filed a complaint against Wesley Barnes, accusing him of causing "damage to the reputation of the hotel" following his July visit, according to AFP.

Barnes, who lives and works in Thailand, left a one-star review for Sea View Resort titled "Unfriendly staff and horrible restaurant manager."

"Unfriendly staff, no one ever smiles. They act like they don't want anyone there. The restaurant manager was the worst. He is from the Czech Republic. He is extremely rude and impolite to guests. Find another place. There are plenty with nicer staff that are happy you are staying with them," the review, which is still available on Tripadvisor, said.

In a response from the resort's rooms division manager, Tom Storup, staff accused Barnes of refusing to pay a corkage fee for alcohol he brought into the resort's restaurant and using "abusing language" toward employees.

Koh Chang Police Colonel Thanapon Taemsara confirmed to AFP that the resort filed a complaint against Barnes.

Sea View Resort told AFP that it filed a complaint because Barnes left negative reviews on multiple review platforms.

In one review that has since been deleted, Barnes accused the hotel of "modern-day slavery," according to The Telegraph.

"We chose to file a complaint to serve as a deterrent, as we understood he may continue to write negative reviews week after week for the foreseeable future," the hotel said in a statement to The Telegraph.

Thailand has strict anti-defamation laws, which can lead to lengthy prison sentences or fines.

A defamation by publication conviction can lead to a two-year prison sentence and a 200,000 baht ($6,300) fine.

Barnes was arrested by immigration police and has since been released on bail. He did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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