In Italy there is a law which states that 24 hours before the start of a vote, be it an election or a referendum, the campaign must stop. It is called the electoral silence and in this period every voter should be allow to think without being bombarded by external influences. In the contemporary age there could be (actually there is) the case of a newspaper publishing on the online site a commentary with some vote recommendation before the start of the silence, but then the link is kept on the homepage during the voting day. Is it a violation of the silence?

2 Answers 2


This article is a useful introduction to restrictions on political advertising in the EU, where §3.4 (p 33) covers Italy. Silenzio elettorale is covered by art 9. of Norme per la disciplina della propaganda elettorale. The statutory situation is not entirely clear to me, but the main controlling fact relevant to the internet question is that AGCOM issues rules. An English legal analysis (from an Italian law firm) is here. Their undernourished analysis of the silence period is

Finally, Italian legislation prohibits political propaganda on election day and on the day before. Although AGCOM is not competent for ascertaining infringements of said prohibition, it considers important to call everyone to turn the attention on these provisions. Indeed, they are important to guarantee effective protections of the constituents. As such, in the Authority’s opinion, the prohibition applies to all media.

Clearly, the law applies to internet platforms. What is not clear is whether the prohibition as applied to web pages is against "adding content", or does it require the elimination of previously-distributed content and scrubbing of links to such content. Perhaps the matter will be clarified in court one day.



The prohibition is on broadcast of advertising i.e. on radio or television. Internet advertising is not a broadcast. Also, the prohibition is on advertising; not news coverage.

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    Are you sure? I don't know the actual text, but I know that even bringing symbols or posters to the polling stations is forbidden.
    – FluidCode
    Commented Jun 12, 2022 at 13:32

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