Italian election campaign plagued by fake news

Since the start of the election campaign in Italy, fake videos and pictures have circulated on social networks. EURACTIV.com looks into the main ones as part of the ‘Fact or Fake’ series, in partnership with France 24.

In fact, the issue of fake news has itself become an election campaign theme.

The leader of the Social Democrats, Matteo Renzi, has promised to propose a law to fight disinformation if he is elected. He also called on Facebook to fight against the phenomenon in the run-up to the election.

Among the most widely shared fake news is this picture of an Italian secretary of state attending a ceremony which was wrongly presented as the funeral of a mafia boss.

Guardate questo profilo, spero falso. Guardate questa schifezza. Persone che hanno il simbolo dei Cinque Stelle nel…

Publié par Maria Elena Boschi sur mercredi 22 novembre 2017

Then there is also this video – with fake subtitles – where Russian President Vladimir Putin is allegedly shown blaming the Italian government for the defeat of the national football team in the world cup qualifiers.

PUTIN ASFALTA GIORNALISTA.

[INCREDIBILE PUTIN]SENTITE COME RISPONDE PUTIN AD UN GIORNALISTE CHE GLI CHIEDE COSA NE PENSA DELLA NAZIONALE CALCISTICA ITALIANA.DURANTE IL CONVEGNO ERA PRESENTE ANCHE MATTEO RENZI,INFATTI PUTIN NON SI TIRA INDIETRO E DICE LE COSE COME STANNO!!!! CONDIVIDI LE PAROLE DEL PRESIDENTE DEL POPOLO! LASCIATE UN LIKE A Non Cielo Dicono II ❤USATE LA VOSTRA TESTA.VIDEO SATIRICO 😘

Publié par Non cielo dicono sur jeudi 16 novembre 2017

Equally fake is this article, which claims that senior Italian MPs are supporting so-called “Nazi” parties in the Ukrainian Parliament – the term “Nazi” being regularly used by the Kremlin to designate those who oppose the partition of the country in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Matteo Renzi, the former head of government, goes as far as accusing Russia of being behind at least some of these disinformation campaigns.

Those fears are echoed in a US Senate report, published in January. In the run-up to the elections in Italy, the US senators accused the Kremlin of sending cash to a far-right party, the Northern League, as well as to the 5-star movement of Beppe Grillo.

The two parties are broadly in favour of lifting the European sanctions against Russia, adopted in response to the annexation of Crimea by Moscow.

‘Fact or Fake’ is a programme developed in partnership with France 24 as part of the weekly show Talking Europe

Subscribe to our newsletters

Subscribe