Online Disinformation and Freedom of Expression in the Electoral Context: The European and Italian Responses
Sandrine Baume, Véronique Boillet, Vincent Martenet (eds), Misinformation in referenda, Forthcoming
23 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2020
Date Written: 2020
This contribution addresses the relevance of the sub-category “disinformation” under a constitutional law lens, i.e. where possible tensions with fundamental rights and alteration of dynamics of the democratic process are created, with specific regards to the electoral context. Through the comparison of the constitutional paradigms of freedom of expression across the Atlantic, the regulatory responses attempted by the European Union are explored to set the background of the Italian experience. Section 1 presents the issues relating to disinformation practices, translating them into the specific electoral context. Section 2 provides a comparative view of the constitutional framework, including the US and European perspectives. Section 3 provides an overview of the different responses of legislators at the EU level and Italy. Section 4 focuses on the case of the 2016 Italian constitutional referendum and the adopted approach with a forward-looking view to subsequent elections. Section 5 concludes.
Keywords: Freedom of Expression, Disinformation, European Union, Referendum
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