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Radicalizing Social Movements: An Italian Case Study

Since the Italian government implemented COVID-19 restrictions, grassroots movements have formed in protest. Extremist far-right, neo-fascist political groups capitalized on the social unrest, joining the movement from the fringes online to radicalize the rhetoric. Hijacking the narrative, they took advantage of the citizens’ anger to advance their political agenda.

Between August and October 2021, ActiveFence saw a 56% increase in misleading COVID-19 trends in Italy’s online ecosystem.

ActiveFence investigates harmful trends, and disinformation narratives across both the open and dark web in real-time, helping organizations fight back and remove the organization of political violence from their platforms.

In this report, we share how these narratives spread across social media and transformed social protest into a movement consisting of violence and political intimidation. As we can see with Italy’s Anti-Green Pass Movement, our off-platform threat detection can alert platforms and institutions to:

  • Emergent and nascent social movements
  • Radical groups monitoring these trends and the infiltration of radical actors
  • Potential real-world violence emanating from online activity.

Download the full report to learn how Italy’s far-right inserted themselves into the political conversation, dangerously influencing a large audience and perpetrating acts of political violence.¬†

Ariella Rothschild

Ariella is a content marketer at ActiveFence. In her ten years of marketing and writing experience for NGOs and startups, Ariella has focused on disinformation, health, and women's rights content. At ActiveFence, Ariella develops Trust & Safety resources on industry best practices, policy, and regulation.