Since 17 May 2017, the first law on cyberbullying in Italy has entered into force. The law defines cyberbullying as “any form of pressure, aggression, harassment, blackmail, insult, denigration, defamation, identity theft, alteration, manipulation, illicit acquisition, illicit processing of personal data against minors and the dissemination of online content whose intentional and main purpose is to isolate a minor or a group of minors by carrying out a serious abuse, a harmful attack, or their ridicule”.

The law provides for the possibility, from 14 years on, the possibility to forward to the operator of the website or social network a request to obtain the obscuration, removal or blocking of any personal data of the child, disseminated in the network and detrimental to his person. The material is not deleted but it is made impossible for users to access it: in this way the content can always be used as evidence. The cancellation must take place within 48 hours; otherwise, you can contact the Guarantor for the protection of personal data that must provide for the removal of this, always within 48 hours.

Because cyberbullying is about minors, very often the first to notice it is the teachers. And by law, the school manager who becomes aware of an episode of cyberbullying committed by one or more students of their own institution is obliged to immediately inform the parents of those responsible and to take appropriate disciplinary measures of an educational nature.

In the event that the cyberbullying behaviour committed by a child of at least fourteen years against another minor involves a possible offence (defamation, threat, unlawful processing of personal data, persecutory acts), the victim may lodge a complaint and, If the Commission does not take action, the Court of First Instance shall inform the Court of its decision. In such a case, the Quaestor shall summon the child together with at least one parent to issue an oral and written warning, inviting him to cease and not to repeat his conduct.

Some tips…

  • Do not reply to text messages, emails or harassing or offensive posts in your social network profiles.
  • Save the messages you receive by taking note of the day and time they arrive
  • If text messages, emails or posts in your social network profiles annoy you delete them, blocking the person who sent them to you.
  • Depending on where you receive the threats, change your nickname, or mobile phone number or email address
  • If something that happens online bothers you (or makes your friend sick), talk to an adult you trust.
  • In case of threats or proposals that annoy you, talk to the adults you trust immediately.
  • You can ask for advice or help to Blue Phone, for you or for a fellow victim of cyberbullying, by calling the number 1.96.96 (also anonymously), or by contacting Blue Phone also via chat: from Monday to Friday from 08.00 to 22.00 and Saturday and Sunday from 08.00 to 20.00.
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