Italian children are using the internet mainly from their smartphones, both at home and when out and about. Exposure to online risks and harmful experiences have increased sensibly in the past seven years, shifting from 6% in 2010 to 13% in 2017. Hateful content (hate speech, violent images, and racist or other discriminating content) and sexual content (pornography) are on the rise. Sexting is also increasing, whereas bullying is stable. While negative online experiences do not necessarily generate harm, bullying, hate speech and sexual messages can cause harm to children, especially girls and the youngest. One in three children still tend to remain passive when they experience something that bothers them on the internet. Reinforcing children’s ability to cope with online risks by promoting the adoption of social responses (talking to others) and proactive responses (blocking people, changing privacy settings, reporting the problem online) is definitely a priority on the policy agenda.
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- In 2017 the Italian team conducted a follow up of the 2010 survey. The 2017 survey was administered face-to-face at home to 1,006 children aged 9-17, using a stratified random sample and self-completion methods in the case of sensitive questions. It was funded by the Ministry of Education (Ministero dell'Istruzione dell'Università e della Ricerca – Miur). For the Italian survey report (January 2018) see here; with English summary here.
- EU Kids Online Italy closely cooperates with the Italian Safer Internet Centre Generazioni Connesse.
- The EU Kids Online findings have informed the policy debate and policy initiatives. Recently, EU Kids Online Italy has participated in an audit with the Autorità Garante per l’Infanzia e l’Adolescenza (the Children’s Ombudsman) on the GDPR and the age limit for digital consent.
Giovanna Mascheroni (PhD) is a Senior Lecturer of Sociology of Media and Communication in the Department of Sociology, Università Cattolica of Milan. She is part of the management team of EU Kids Online and co-Chair of WG4 of the COST Action DigiLitEY. From 2012 to 2014 she coordinated Net Children Go Mobile, a mix-methods, 9 country project funded by the Safer Internet Programme, which investigated the relationship between smartphones and tablet use among European children and their changing online experiences. Her work focuses on the social shaping and the social consequences of the internet, mobile media and Internet of Toys and Things among children and young people, including online risks and opportunities, civic/political participation, datafication and digital citizenship.
Piermarco Aroldi (PhD) is a Professor of Sociology of Culture and Communication at the Università Cattolica of Milan and Piacenza. He is the Director of OssCom, research centre for media and communication. He is a member of the Italian team of Net Children Go Mobile. His scientific interest is in media consumption in everyday life, especially from a generational perspective, looking at the family and children.
Barbara Scifo, PhD, is a Lecturer in the Sociology of Culture and Communication at the Università Cattolica of Milan, where she teaches Languages and Means of Communication and she is one of the Academic Staff of OssCom. She co-coordinates the Net Children Go Mobile Project. She is currently engaged in research on digital media and social ties and on mobile young audiences.
OssCom - Centro di Ricerca sui Media e la comunicazione is an academic research centre for the study of media and communication. It has been operating since 1994 and it is based at the Università Cattolica in Milan. Different institutions support its activities, including universities, public, religious and no-profit organisations as well as private companies.
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