Insulting police online banned by Granby, Que., bylaw

Quebec town already has bylaw under which anyone who insults municipal officials could be fined.

Insulting a police officer or municipal official on the internet has been made illegal in the town of Granby, Que., after the council voted unanimously tonight in favour of beefing up an already controversial bylaw.

In Granby — a town situated about 80 kilometres east of Montreal — it was already illegal to insult a police officer and other municipal officials​. Offenders could face fines ranging from $100 to as high as $1,000.

Tonight, the town council strengthened that bylaw to include online insults.

“In my opinion, if I threaten you via my keyboard, it’s as though I am making that threat right in front of you.… For me, it’s the same thing,” said Robert Riel, Granby’s deputy mayor.

The move comes after town officials discovered a Facebook page called Les policiers zélé de Granby — The Zealous Police of Granby.

Fascists…

French blogger fined over review’s Google search placing

Guess they don’t believe in freedom of speech in France…

A French judge has ruled against a blogger because her scathing restaurant review was too prominent in Google search results.

The judge ordered that the post’s title be amended and told the blogger Caroline Doudet to pay damages.

Ms Doudet said the decision made it a crime to be highly ranked on search engines.

The restaurant owner said the article’s prominence was unfairly hurting his business.

Ms Doudet was sued by the owner of Il Giardino restaurant in the Aquitaine region of southwestern France after she wrote a blogpost entitled “the place to avoid in Cap-Ferret: Il Giardino”.

According to court documents, the review appeared fourth in the results of a Google search for the restaurant. The judge decided that the blog’s title should be changed, so that the phrase: “the place to avoid” was less prominent in the results.

The judge sitting in Bordeaux also pointed out that the harm to the restaurant was exacerbated by the fact that Ms Doudet’s fashion and literature blog “Cultur’elle” had around 3,000 followers, indicating she thought it was a significant number.

“This decision creates a new crime of ‘being too highly ranked [on a search engine]’, or of having too great an influence’,” Ms Doudet told the BBC.

“What is perverse, is that we look for bloggers who are influential, but only if they are nice about people,” she added.

The judge told Ms Doudet to amend the title of the blog and to pay €1,500 ($2,000; £1,200).

Next time this happens, someone should refuse, and go to jail, as an act of defiance.