Digital Media Literacy: Italy

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DML Government Actions: Italy

Italian governments have taken several actions to respond to misinformation in the area of digital media literacy. Several examples are provided below, with additional examples and detail provided in the attached spreadsheet. An exhaustive search uncovered a total of 11 relevant actions, and a detailed description of the research strategy used is provided to better understand why more were not available.

Government Actions

  • The Internet Rights Charter was created in July 2015 to demonstrate a commitment to everyone having the same rights on the Internet.
  • In October 2017, the Italian Ministry of Education came together with Facebook, Google and Italy's public broadcaster to create a curriculum for high school students to learn how to spot fake news.
  • A service was launched through the Italian postal police which allows people to report news they thought was fake, which allows the police to further investigate.
  • In February 2017, senators proposed a law which would make creating or distributing fake news a crime. It has not yet been made into law.
  • In March 2018, an initiative was launched to encourage internet platforms to self-regulate and make a commitment to treating all political parties equally.
  • An Italian man was sentenced to prison after the courts determined that "writing fake reviews under a false identity was a crime under Italian law."

Research Strategy

We began our search by conducting a general press scan for news related to national or local Italian government initiatives related to digital media literacy. This brought us to sites such as the New York Times, the BBC, and The Guardian and allowed us to find several relevant articles.

Our next strategy was to search for websites with a particular focus on misinformation, digital media literacy, and fake news. We believed that these niche type websites would be best positioned to provide the specific data we were searching for. This led us to sites including Disinfoportal, Pagella Politica, and Osservatorio Permanente Giovani - Editori, and allowed us to find a few additional relevant initiatives, but not enough to reach the required 15.

Finally, we conducted direct searches of Italian governmental sites including the Chamber of Deputies, Italian Senate, and Governo Italiano. Since we were looking for actions taken by the government, a direct search of the government sites seemed to be an effective strategy as they were likely to report on any initiatives being undertaken. These searches were undertaken in both English and Italian (using google translator) but did not uncover any additional initiatives beyond what had already been found.