A German judge is threatening Salvini with up to six months in prison and up to a 250k Euro fine. His alleged crime is making fun of an NGO employee on twitter over a year ago.
Salvini copied and pasted a picture of Mission Lifeline employee Sören Moje. He wrote “This gentleman is in the crew of the ship of the German NGO that, waiting to load immigrants, calls me the ‘fascist’. Reassuringly I would say!”
The photo came from the official website of Mission Lifeline. The man who took the picture claims that Salvini violated his copyright and is inciting violence against NGO workers. A judge ruled in favor of the photographer and issued an order against Salvini to remove the picture from any and all social media accounts. The judge called for severe legal consequences if Salvini does not comply. As far as I can tell, Salvini has long since deleted the image, but now screen captures are proliferating across the internet because of the lawsuit.
This is a rather funny story because everyone knows that filing lawsuits to get something removed from the internet tends to go very badly.
A perfect example from Germany is the so-called “Techno-Viking.” One of the first-ever viral meme characters in Internet history. When the man in the original Techno-Viking video sued the person who had filmed him, it sparked a year’s long court battle and only created renewed interest in using the man’s image as a meme character.