Observatory on fake news

Status: 
ongoing
Period: 
February 2018 - October 2018
Funding: 
N/A
Funding organization: 

AgCom (Authority for the guarantees in communication)

Person(s) in charge: 

Juan Carlos De Martin (coordinator), Antonio Santangelo (delegate at the table),

Executive summary: 

he Nexa Center for Internet & Society is involved in a round table created by AgCom, the Italian Authority for the guarantees in communication, to safeguard pluralism and information correctness on digital platforms, especially during the electoral campaigns.

Background: 

Because of the success of “Persuasori social” (see page 15), a project that involve Agcom to develop recommendations for the Italian Parliament on how to guarantee pluralism in the political electoral campaigns, the Nexa Center for Internet & Society has been asked by Agcom itself to take part to an institutional table with the same aims. The participants to this table are Google, Facebook, Rai, Mediaset, Confindustria, Guild of journalists, some universities, advertisers and many other stakeholders who directly influence information and its circulation in the public sphere. They have been called, due to the concerns about the diffusion of fake news and misinformation in general, something which may influence the political life of a nation.

Objectives: 

The table mentioned above aims at helping some actors like Facebook and Google, but also other stakeholders of digital communication, to find a way to self-regulation, to guarantee pluralism and the diffusion of correct information through digital platforms.
This means that the State, represented by AgCom, doesn’t want to make national laws that may undermine the expression freedom of citizens, but it wants to contain the diffusion of fake news and misinformation, thanks to the help of the most influential subjects who may contrast their circulation.

Results: 

The table is divided into five topics: (i) the definition of the phenomenon of online misinformation and on the methods to study it; (ii) the financing strategies of the protagonists of misinformation; (iii) the fact checking, (iv) the media literacy; (v) the communication strategies to involve citizens in the fight against misinformation itself.
Every topics will be discussed to produce studies, research activities and practical tools to help the stakeholders of this sector find their way to self-regulation. In the intentions of AgCom, this should diminish the impact of fake news and misinformation in our democratic life.