Cyberbullying in Italy: children protection and safeguards
Within a networked society, an increasing amount of youth people experienced abuses and violence in the context of bullying. In the last year of distance learning, bullying episode increased within a digital environment that only recently has started to cope with the legal figure of cyberbullying.
According to the Italian Law N. 71/2019, Cyberbullying is any form of aggression, abuse, defamation, extortion, identity theft, carried out digitally and targeting a minor with the purpose of isolating, abusing, and ridiculing. Based on that, the Italian Cyberbullying consists of a set of activities with a main objective: to humiliate or isolate the victim. In this context, in order to trigger the cyberbullying offense, the conduct must be repeated. Second, the conduct must be actively violent; in the sense of an action who is actively damaging the victim.
With the purpose of limiting the dangerous consequences of this type of behaviour, the Law N.71 established same safeguards in order to fight back cyberbullying episodes.
– The removal of digital contents – 14 y/o Minors have the right to request to the digital platform for the removal of the abusive digital content within 48 hours. In the context of social media, the minor may address such request to the designated department. In the event the platform is not compliant with minor’s request, the individual may address his claim to the Italian Data Protection Authority;
– Warning – Address the claim before the Quaestor in order to get an official warning is another option;
– Educational Institutions – Schools and Educational Institutions shall be proactive in detecting and contrasting cyberbullying episodes occurring within the educational environment.
However, In Italy, the cyberbullying criminal offence does not really exist. In fact, this behaviour is qualified under several other criminal conducts, which may receive further forms of protection. In relation to this matter, the conducts that qualify cyberbullying may constitute the following criminal offence: defamation, threats, illegitimate and unlawful data processing, private violence, extortion, possession of pornographic material. It is important to notice that, according to the Italian Law, the cyberbully younger than 14 y/o cannot be held criminally responsible. In such case, the legal guardian will pay compensation to the victim.
Should you need any assistance on this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us. VGS lawyers have achieved experience in cyberbullying cases obtaining brilliant results.