French politician’s lawsuit blames this unflattering selfie for election loss

french politicians lawsuit blames unflattering selfie for election loss le pen
Brahim Zaibat
A high-profile far-right politician in France has blamed an unflattering selfie for his party’s failure at recent elections in the country.

And to show he’s serious, Jean-Marie Le Pen is suing the person that took the snap.

Dancer Brahim Zaibat, who happens to be an ex-boyfriend of Madonna, took the shot (above) of a slumbering Le Pen during a flight last December, one day before the French public went to the polls in regional elections.

“Knockout the [National Front] tomorrow by going to vote,” Zaibat wrote in an accompanying caption before posting the image on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. As Le Pen dozed, the image started doing the rounds on the social sites, eventually picking up hundreds of thousands of likes, comments, and shares.

The party failed to make the gains many observers had forecasted, leading Le Pen to single out the selfie as the likely cause of its disappointing performance.

An incensed Le Pen is claiming €50,000 (about $55,000) in damages from Zaibat, and also wants a public apology. The politician claims the selfie “harmed his image and was instrumental in the defeat of the party,” and also breached his privacy, French magazine Public reported.

Le Pen, who founded France’s National Front party in 1972 before leading it for nearly 40 years, was actually booted out of the organization in 2015 as the new leader, who happens to be his daughter, worked to soften its hard-right image. However, judging by his recent actions, Jean-Marie is clearly still loyal to the cause, and believes he continues to hold some sway over the electorate.

The first hearing of Le Pen’s complaint is scheduled for January 22. Zaibat has so far refrained from commenting on the situation, though presumably he might think twice about taking a photo of a sleeping politician next time he stumbles across one.

Emerging Tech

Delivery robot goes up in flames while out and about in California

A small meal-delivery robot suddenly caught fire in Berkeley, California, on Friday. The blaze was quickly tackled and no one was hurt, but the incident is nevertheless a troubling one for the fledgling robot delivery industry.

Want to make one hard drive act like two? Here's how to partition in Windows

If you don't want all of your files stored in one place but only have one drive to work with, partitioning is your best way forward. Here's how to partition a hard drive in Windows 10, step by step.

Here's our guide to how to charge your laptop using a USB-C cable

Charging via USB-C is a great way to power up your laptop. It only takes one cable and you can use the same one for data as well as power -- perfect for new devices with limited port options.

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

Walkie-talkie voice messaging finally comes to Instagram

In its latest grab from messaging apps, Instagram now lets you send walkie-talkie style voice messages. Apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and iMessage have offered the feature for some time.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.
Social Media

GIF almost anywhere with Giphy’s new keyboard and sticker maker

We all love GIFs, but not every app supports them. Fortunately, the new Giphy' keyboard brings GIFs to any iOS app that supports multimedia. The update also comes with a new tool for creating animated stickers.