In brief: Italian findings from EU Kids Online 2020

Italian children aged 9 to 17 go online primarily from their smartphones – 84% do so daily. While the internet is an integral part of children’s daily lives, differences persist in online activities and, more significantly, in online skills. With misinformation being one of the highest concerns on the public agenda, it is striking that only 42% of Italian children reportedly find it easy to check if the information they find online is true.

The number of children who have felt bothered (upset, uncomfortable or scared) by something they experienced on the internet has more than doubled, from 6% in 2013 to 13% in 2017 (and from 3% to 13% among 9- to 10-year-olds). The most common risk is being exposed to harmful user-generated content (UGC) – 51% of 11- to 17-year-olds have been exposed to at least one form of negative UGC in the past year, including hate messages (31%). Most feel sad, angry and full of hatred for what they have seen. However, 58% of those who have seen hate speech in the past year did nothing about it. Similarly, 50% of children who have witnessed someone else being bullied on the internet reportedly did nothing about it.

Please click here for Italian language website


  • Ponte, C., Mascheroni, G., Batista, S., Garmendia, M., Martinez, G., & Cino, D. (2023). Children’s digital mediation: The family climate in Spain, Italy and Portugal. Observatorio (OBS*)17(2). DOI: 10.15847/obsOBS17220
  • Mascheroni, G. & Ólafsson, K. (2018). Accesso, usi, rischi e opportunità di internet per i ragazzi italiani. I risultati di EU Kids Online 2017. EU Kids Online e OssCom.
    Summary in English
  • One in three children adopt passive responses to online risks that bother them, and one in four do not talk to anyone about what happened. This is surprising, since children report living in supportive and safe environments at home, school and among peers. Italian parents adopt especially enabling mediation practices, thus favouring dialogue over restrictions. However, findings suggest that the internet is perceived as more of a risky place than an opportunity: 52% of parents suggest ways to use the internet safely and 38% help children when something bothers them on the internet, but only 21% encourage children to explore and learn things on the internet. Teachers make rules and friends suggest things to do.

Reports and resources

Italian team

Giovanna Mascheroni

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

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.  

Davide Cino

Davide Cino is an Assistant Professor in General and Social Pedagogy at the Department of Human Sciences for Education “Riccardo Massa”, University of Milan – Bicocca, where he earned his PhD in Education in Contemporary Society in 2021. After his PhD, he worked on the Horizon 2020 program ySKILLS (Youth Skills) and CO:RE (Children Online Research and Evidence) at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano, as a Postdoctoral Researcher. His main research interests relate to children’s online presence, digital skills, digital parenting, lifelong learning, and informal learning.


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.     


OssCom, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Largo Gemelli 1, 20123 Milano