Piero Ricca was the website of a famous Italian activist who made headlines in the early 2000s. The activist was a huge critic of Italian politicians, especially the Italian Prime Minister at the time, Silvio Berlusconi. His unconventional methods of communication and the use of insult-laced rants and jokes endeared him to the Italian masses, particularly the working lower class.
In 2005, lawyers of Silvio Berlusconi brought libel charges against him, which ended up in a wrongful conviction. His crime was for his insult of the Italian Premier at a public engagement in 2003. Ricca had insulted the Premier on several occasions before and after 2003, but the case for which he was sued was his reaction to Mr. Berlusconi’s tailor made legislation passed by the Italian parliament which protected him from prosecution in the infamous judge bribing case a few years prior. So scathing were Piero Ricca’s remarks that it irked the former Prime Minister and members of his party.
He was convicted by the court and fined €516 for his conduct, but he served no jail time. Believing that his conviction was wrong, he took the case to the Cassation Court (Italy’s highest court of appeal) and was successful. The court overruled the judgment of the lesser court and overturned the conviction. The Cassation Court’s position on the matter was that Mr. Ricco did not commit any crime for which he was fined and that criticizing a public official was a “crucial social right.”
This ruling became a benchmark for similar cases afterward.
All Mr. Ricca’s engagements were published on the platform, and fans and collaborators used it as a source of information to track events. The site was like a personal dossier used to advertise special events; at the time, the activist was a regular face in mainstream Italian politics. It received hundreds of visitors daily and was even listed on archive.org. Today, it is no longer active and has declined in popularity, just like Mr.Ricca, the owner. This site has been decommissioned. As of the time of writing, all posts, reviews, and event information have been taken down and are no longer accessible.