Alberto Puliafito & Giovanni Zagni, Tuesday, July 9, 2019

“Disinformation in Social Media; Building Trust with Audiences & Promoting Ethical Journalism”

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Disinformation was a hot topic in European and U.S. media and policy circles in the run-up to Italy’s January – March 2018 election season and through the three-month government formation. During the first half of 2018, the Italian media regularly covered warnings about potential negative effects disinformation could have on Italy’s democracy. The Italian Postal Police was charged with collecting reports of fake news and looked into to those cases, including arguably the most significant one of mobilized bots who amplified calls for the President of the Italian Republic to step down. Italian fact-checking platform Pagella worked in tandem with Facebook to find and debunk political fake news on its Italian platform.

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Alberto Puliafito is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of “Slow News”. Alberto is an Italian journalist, director and producer, entrepreneur, publisher and media analyst. He is also an editor of Wolf, a B2B Italian magazine about communication, journalism and media. He is working on a new business model for digital journalism by promoting an Italian journalistic project of slow journalism.

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Giovanni Zagni is the Editor-in-Chief for “Pagella Politica” and Italian fact-checking website. Pagella Politica is an Italian project entirely devoted to political fact-checking. The objective of the website is to monitor statements made by Italian politicians and verify their truthfulness according to reliable data and sources. Italian fact-checking platform Pagella worked in tandem with Facebook to find and debunk political fake news on its Italian platform.

Italian political leaders, especially those in the populist governing coalition, have become increasingly savvy and successful using social media to speak directly to the electoral and shape their views of events and policy proposals, and to criticize “establishment” media. This context is not unlike that in the United States. These journalists will explore how to continue to build trust with audiences and promote ethical journalism, as digital technology and through it, domestic and foreign political forces reshape the landscape in which they work.

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