Republican Devin Nunes might be the first person ever to make reference to Human Centipede in federal court.
This week, the Congressman from California filed a lawsuit suing Twitter and some users who mocked him for a total of $250 million, The Hill reported. While the suit itself raised eyebrows, the most viral attention was on a piece of evidence he submitted in his court filing that made reference to the notoriously disgusting horror film.
While sparing as much graphic detail as possible, Human Centipede is a 2009 Dutch horror film about people who were abducted and sewn together in such a way that one is forced to defecate in the other’s mouth. One Twitter user posted a depiction of the torture from the film and identified Devin Nunes as the one attached to Donald Trump, a statement that Devin Nunes said was defamatory.
The suit also claims that Twitter purposely targeted conservatives to silence their messages.
“Twitter, by its actions, intended to generate and proliferate the false and defamatory statements about Plaintiff in order to influence the outcome of the 2018 Congressional election and to intimidate Plaintiff and interfere with his important investigation of corruption by the Clinton campaign and alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 Presidential Election,” the lawsuit stated.
Devin Nunes’ lawsuit named Twitter accounts he said were created to mock him, including one called @DevinNunesMom that he said pretended to be his mother and made false statements (including the Human Centipede image).
The lawsuit led to some mockery online, with many saying the Republican who was once in charge of the House’s investigation of Russian collusion (and who brought it to a controversial end while declaring Donald Trump was cleared) was being petty and thin-skinned for suing Twitter and the parody accounts for a quarter of a billion dollars. Nunes was also mocked for calling the parody accounts a “vicious defamation campaign” when users say their statements were par for the course in what public figures deal with online.
AHAHAHAhahahahahahahahaha Devin Nunes is suing @DevinCow for calling him a "treasonous cowpoke" and an "udder-ly worthless" criminal.
— Ally Maynard (@missmayn) March 19, 2019
— The Verge (@verge) March 19, 2019
Devin Nunes suing his own parody accounts is a pretty excellent self-own. https://t.co/pUyisVJkCE
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) March 19, 2019
Others noted that Devin Nunes’ lawsuit will likely lead to the “Streisand Effect,” a phenomenon that claims any attempts to censor or hide information online has the opposite effect, making it spread even further.
"Like Devin Nunes' Mom, Devin Nunes' cow engaged in a vicious defamation campaign against Nunes." pic.twitter.com/IWp4jLwYS0
— Brad Heath (@bradheath) March 19, 2019
Even if he doesn’t win the lawsuit (which some legal experts said would be an uphill battle given that the Twitter accounts making fun of him are clearly parody), Devin Nunes has at least accomplished one thing — introducing Human Centipede into the annual of the federal legal system.