It is a crime to accuse a person of being “Psychopath”. This was established by a judge from Cuneo, Anna Gilli, sentencing a 50-year-old Benese entrepreneur, GC, to a fine of 300 euros. In a possible civil trial, the man will also have to pay damages to the injured person, a 36-year-old from Sanremo, who reported him in 2016.
The reason for the quarrel between the two, which took place on the bulletin board of a mutual friend, was a comment with a slightly “pushed” photomontage where you could see the effigy of a woman intent on practicing fellatio. The defendant had posted it in response to an exchange between the 36-year-old from Liguria and another woman, a friend of GC on Facebook and the author of the complaint in real life: “She had invited me to dinner, – the witness told the court – before leaving home I wrote on his personal notice board ‘I’m hungry’ and he replied by posting a photo of the sauce he was cooking. The comment then appeared under that post“.
Following the report of the 36-year-old, Facebook had deleted the image and sent a “warning” to the author of the comment. Which, however, had not taken it at all well. Following the earshot received by the social network managers, the Benese had published a screenshot of the conversation and commented: “I don’t understand how some people can be so psychopathic as to be scandalized by the photo of a p …”. “When I saw the notification of the violation delivered by Facebook I was beside myself, I thought that his intervention was inappropriate because it was just a humorous photo” explained the accused.
This somewhat over the top consideration, however, cost the man the criminal case. At the end of a very complex investigation – in relation to the extent of the fact – the prosecutor Davide Fontana had asked for a fine: “As for the image of the cup, the context in which it was inserted is certainly provocative but not defamatory. In the following sentences, however, he actually went beyond what is tolerated by the law: they are sentences that are objectively damaging to the reputation of the injured person “. For the civil party lawyer Chiara Santinelli “Beyond the image, however damaging to its decorum, the following words were perceived as offended”. Indicative of the willful misconduct would be the fact that GC has tagged – that is, quoted with a notification – the mutual friend in the “vent” post.
“It is true that the rules of the civilized world must be applied to the Internet, but we must still recognize the same guarantees that we would offer to those who speak in a bar to those who write on the Internet” defense attorney Marco Cuniberti argued in response, convinced that “If this situation had occurred in a bar, nothing would have happened”. Although uneducated, the defendant’s reaction would not be defamatory in any case: “‘Psychopath’ is not a bad word, however excessive it may be”. The judge, however, thought otherwise.