Panel I.01 — Digital Reputation and Social Injustice. Tools and Strategies for Media Education

Convenors Eleonora Sparano (Università degli studi Niccolò Cusano, Italy); Nicola Strizzolo (Università degli sudi di Teramo, Italy)

Keywords Digital reputation, social injustice, media education, marginalisation, inequality


The digital permeates every aspect of reality: “culture”, “technology”, and “society” are concepts that are firmly intertwined with each other (Miller, Horst 2012). The latest technological devices are an integral part of the human body (Lupton 2015), producing a shift from “embedded” to “inter-corporated” users, with interconnected machines becoming life companions in all activities.

Van Dijk (2005) highlights the social dimensions that can produce social inequality (social attractiveness, mental access; and availability of computers and connectivity, material access), and the different skills that influence the level of utilisation (operational, informational, formal and substantive) and those that can translate into social growth, which are strategic for the achievement of goals in life.

In this regard, it is worth mentioning the outcome of a research (Grollo et al. 2022) that shows how the use of devices has dropped to under two years of age (26%), according to a consumption trajectory that intensifies with age. Already in 2017, the European Commission, through a comparative survey carried out by the Joint Research Centre (JRC 2017), highlighted the use of digital devices by children under the age of six, regardless of the national reference context. To go further overseas, we find that the use of tablets and mobile phones, in children under the age of eight, is an embedded habit, although this practice is mainly related to the enjoyment of online videos (Rideout, Robb 2020).

All these Reports testify to a scientific interest that has been present for years on the subject, even if the urgency of dealing with the potential risks remains (Loon 2002, 2014; Lupton 2016) related to the use of digital technology in pre-school and school age, accentuating the focus on a highly topical subject, such as that of “digital reputation” and the damage resulting from identity-damaging acts through personal data violations, cyberbullying, sexting, revenge porn, flaming, harassment, denigration, impersonation, outing and trickery.

The aim of the panel is to focus attention on the web reputation in order to open the discussion on possible courses of action, preventive measures and law enforcement bodies, forms of accompanying disruption and media education strategies. Within it, some possible proposals could respond to the following points:

– Is there an awareness of a digital reputation?

– Does it find cultural adaptation and an appropriate form of socialisation?

– Having such social skills, what discriminating factors does it produce in the present and future lives of the subjects?

– How do we facilitate moments, formal and informal, to share these new forms?

– Do they translate into comforting forms of adult control and are they already internalized by digital natives?

– Is there a form of inequality, linked to fragile and marginalized areas, in which these digital-representational skills are not developed, with various risks that may affect the future social life of young people?

– What doors does knowing how to manage one’s digital reputation open to the future?


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