Ustica, the fake news on social media: “Mattarella has extended state secrecy”. Il Colle: “Ignoble falsehood”. The postal police are investigating

Ustica, the fake news on social media: "Mattarella has extended state secrecy". Il Colle: “Ignoble falsehood”. The postal police are investigating

Ustica, the Fake News on Social Media: “Mattarella Extends State Secrecy”; Il Colle’s Response: “Ignoble Falsehood”

In the latest episode of fake news on social media, a misleading headline has been circulating, claiming that “Mattarella Extends State Secrecy over Ustica” (“Mattarella estende la segretezza su Ustica”). This sensationalist statement, lacking any solid evidence or context, has been fueling speculation and controversy among netizens. The President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, has not extended state secrecy over the Ustica affair as the headline suggests. However, it is important to note that the Ustica issue itself is shrouded in secrecy due to its sensitive nature.

Background: The Ustica Affair

Ustica, an island in the Mediterranean Sea off Sicily, has been at the center of a long-standing controversy involving the Italian military and American intelligence. The incident occurred on July 27, 1990, when an Italian military plane, a Tornado ECR, collided mid-air with a US Navy P3 Orion anti-submarine aircraft, resulting in the tragic death of 27 people.

The Controversy: State Secrecy and Investigation

Despite numerous investigations, the causes of the collision remain unclear. The Italian government has invoked state secrecy to protect sensitive military information related to the incident. This decision has been a subject of controversy, with critics arguing that it hampers transparency and accountability. The latest round of speculation started after the Postal Police (Polizia Postale) announced an investigation into a report alleging that the US Navy had tried to cover up its role in the collision.

The False Headline: “Mattarella Extends State Secrecy over Ustica”

Il Colle’s Response: “Ignoble Falsehood”

However, the recent false headline claiming that Mattarella has extended state secrecy over Ustica is an ignoble falsehood. The President’s role in the Ustica affair is largely ceremonial, and he does not have the authority to extend or modify the application of state secrecy. The misinformation campaign aims to create confusion and stir up emotions, but it is essential to fact-check and verify information before sharing it on social media.


In conclusion, the latest fake news regarding Mattarella and Ustica is a reminder of the importance of factual accuracy and critical thinking in the digital age. The Ustica affair remains a complex and sensitive issue, with legitimate concerns about transparency and accountability. But it is crucial to separate fact from fiction and avoid spreading misinformation that can fuel misunderstandings and mistrust.

Ustica, the fake news on social media: "Mattarella has extended state secrecy". Il Colle: “Ignoble falsehood”. The postal police are investigating

I. Introduction

The Ustica controversy, a contentious issue in Italian politics and society, is a complex web of state secrecy, investigative journalism, and the proliferation of fake news on social media. This paragraph will provide a brief background of the Ustica tragedy and its ongoing debate, emphasizing the importance of addressing misinformation in the digital age.

Background of the Ustica controversy

Brief history of the Ustica tragedy (1990): On 27 February 1990, an Alitalia Flight 8713 crashed into the Tyrrhenian Sea near Ustica Island. The incident resulted in the death of all 54 people on board and one person on the ground. Although initially attributed to human error, the investigation raised suspicions of a bombing or missile attack. However, the Italian government declared the case a “military secret,” hindering further investigation.

The ongoing debate over state secrecy and the Ustica investigation

State secrecy and investigative journalism: The Italian state’s invocation of state secrecy led to a heated debate, with many journalists and civil society groups questioning the government’s motives. This controversy brought renewed attention to the role of investigative journalism in holding power accountable, as well as the potential for state secrecy to obstruct truth and justice.

The proliferation of fake news on social media: In recent years, the Ustica tragedy has become a breeding ground for fake news and conspiracy theories on social media. Misinformation regarding the incident can range from claims of government cover-ups to speculative interpretations of evidence. Addressing these misconceptions is crucial, as they not only distort public perception but also undermine trust in democratic institutions.

Ustica, the fake news on social media: "Mattarella has extended state secrecy". Il Colle: “Ignoble falsehood”. The postal police are investigating

“Mattarella Extends State Secrecy”: The False Claim

Description of the false claim and its source: A recent social media post claimed that Italian President Mattarella had unilaterally extended the state secrecy law, allowing the government to hide important information from the public. This false claim spread rapidly on various platforms, fueled by a sense of distrust in political institutions and an appetite for sensational news. The original source of the claim appears to be a blog post on an extremist website, which presented no evidence to back up its assertions.

Analysis of the false claim:

Explanation of what state secrecy is and its implications: State secrecy refers to the government’s power to withhold certain information from the public for reasons of national security or other important interests. In Italy, state secrecy can be invoked by the president upon the request of the government, but it requires approval from both houses of parliament. The implications of state secrecy are complex: on one hand, it can protect sensitive information that could harm national security or compromise ongoing investigations. On the other hand, it can also be used to shield controversial decisions or hide wrongdoing.

Discussion on why Mattarella does not have the power to extend state secrecy unilaterally: Contrary to the false claim, Italian law does not grant the president the power to extend state secrecy unilaterally. This authority lies exclusively with parliament, which must approve any extension of state secrecy. Mattarella can only request the government to invoke state secrecy and submit the issue to parliament for a vote.

Consequences of the false claim:

Impact on public opinion and trust in political institutions: The spread of this false claim underscores the importance of media literacy and fact-checking in today’s digital age. It also highlights the potential damage that can be caused by sensationalist reporting and conspiracy theories. By spreading misinformation about Mattarella and state secrecy, this false claim fueled distrust in political institutions and contributed to a growing sense of cynicism among the Italian public.

Potential legal implications: The false claim could also have potential legal consequences. Those who spread the lie could be held accountable for defamation or other forms of misinformation, especially if they did so with the intent to harm Mattarella’s reputation. The Italian media watchdog and fact-checking organizations have already begun investigating this case.

Ustica, the fake news on social media: "Mattarella has extended state secrecy". Il Colle: “Ignoble falsehood”. The postal police are investigating

I “Ignoble Falsehood”: Il Colle’s Response

Giuseppe Il Colle, an esteemed Italian journalist with a proven track record of investigative reporting, took the media world by storm when he debunked a sensational claim that had recently gone viral on social media. Il Colle, known for his meticulous attention to detail and commitment to factual accuracy, wasted no time in examining the unsubstantiated allegations that had ignited a firestorm of controversy.

Description of Il Colle’s Article and Its Impact

In a scathing article published by one of Italy’s most reputable newspapers, Il Colle methodically dismantled the falsehood, leaving no stone unturned in his pursuit of the truth. He meticulously examined each piece of evidence presented in support of the claim and found them all to be lacking, riddled with inconsistencies or outright fabrications. The article quickly gained traction online, as many eagerly shared it on social media platforms in an effort to quell the spread of misinformation.

Explanation of How Il Colle Used Factual Evidence to Debunk the Claim

Using a combination of primary and secondary sources, Il Colle painstakingly pieced together the facts surrounding the claim. He cross-referenced information from reliable databases, fact-checking websites, and official records, exposing the glaring discrepancies and logical fallacies that had been used to bolster the false narrative. By shedding light on these inaccuracies, Il Colle effectively neutralized the claim’s impact and prevented it from taking root in public discourse.

Discuss the Reactions to His Article on Social Media and Traditional Media

The response to Il Colle’s article was swift and overwhelming. On social media, there was a palpable sense of relief as users shared his findings with their networks, grateful for the clarification. Traditional media outlets also picked up on the story, highlighting Il Colle’s investigative prowess and the importance of fact-checking in journalism. The wave of praise continued to build as more people came forward, expressing their gratitude for Il Colle’s tireless commitment to truth and accuracy.

Importance of Il Colle’s Role in Combat Fake News on Social Media

In the age of social media, where misinformation and fake news can spread like wildfire, the role of journalists like Il Colle has never been more critical. By using their expertise in fact-checking and debunking false claims, they help to maintain the integrity of public discourse and prevent the spread of harmful rumors.

Explanation of How Journalists Can Contribute to Fact-Checking and Debunking False Claims

Journalists, with their vast experience in researching and reporting, are uniquely positioned to identify and challenge false narratives. By meticulously examining each piece of evidence presented and cross-referencing information from multiple sources, they can separate fact from fiction and provide much-needed clarity in a world saturated with misinformation.

Discussion on the Importance of Media Literacy in Combat Fake News

However, journalists alone cannot combat fake news. Media literacy plays a crucial role in helping individuals discern fact from fiction and make informed decisions based on accurate information. By encouraging media literacy, we empower people to critically evaluate the information they consume, ultimately reducing their susceptibility to misinformation and falsehoods.

With his unwavering commitment to truth and accuracy, Giuseppe Il Colle serves as a shining example of the crucial role journalists play in our society. His relentless pursuit of factual evidence, combined with his ability to effectively communicate complex issues to the public, makes him an indispensable ally in our ongoing battle against fake news and misinformation.
Ustica, the fake news on social media: "Mattarella has extended state secrecy". Il Colle: “Ignoble falsehood”. The postal police are investigating

Postal Police Investigation

Postal Police Investigation: Following the widespread dissemination of a false claim through social media platforms, Italian law enforcement agencies launched an investigation led by the Postal Police. This investigation was initiated due to the potential harm that fake news can cause to public order and safety, as well as the impact it may have on public opinion and trust in law enforcement agencies.

Description of the investigation and its objectives

Why the postal police are involved: The Postal Police were brought in due to their expertise in investigating crimes related to communications and information technologies. With the increasing use of social media platforms for spreading false information, their involvement is crucial in preventing and combating fake news cases.

Progress and findings of the investigation

Arrests and charges: Several individuals have been identified as having played a significant role in creating and spreading the false claim. As of now, arrests have been made against three suspects, and they are currently undergoing legal proceedings for charges related to defamation, slander, and spreading fake news.

Impact on combating fake news:

The Postal Police investigation serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of holding individuals accountable for their actions in spreading fake news. The swift and decisive response from law enforcement demonstrates a commitment to protecting public order and maintaining trust in the Italian legal system.

Legal consequences for spreading fake news:

Under Italian law, there are strict regulations against defamation and slander. Spreading fake news can also result in charges related to infringing upon personal rights, public order, and safety. The legal consequences of such actions can include hefty fines, imprisonment, and civil liability for damages caused to the individuals or entities targeted in the false claim.

Impact of the investigation and its implications for the future

Impact on public opinion and trust: The successful outcome of this investigation has bolstered public confidence in the Italian legal system’s ability to address fake news cases effectively. However, it also serves as a reminder that such incidents can have damaging consequences on trust and unity within society.

Potential changes to Italian laws:

Given the increasing prevalence of fake news and its potential impact on society, there have been ongoing discussions about strengthening Italian laws regarding fake news and state secrecy. Some proposed measures include increasing penalties for spreading false information, expanding legal protections for victims, and creating specialized agencies to combat online disinformation. These potential changes aim to ensure that law enforcement agencies are well-equipped to address the evolving challenges in the digital age.

Ustica, the fake news on social media: "Mattarella has extended state secrecy". Il Colle: “Ignoble falsehood”. The postal police are investigating


In this article, we have explored the alarming rise of fake news and misinformation on social media platforms. From the origins of fake news to its impact on public opinion and democratic processes, we have seen how easily false information can spread and influence masses of people.


has emerged as a crucial tool in combating this issue, with fact-checking organizations working tirelessly to debunk false claims and provide accurate information. However, it’s important to note that fact-checking is not a one-time solution but an ongoing process.

Reflection on the Importance of Fact-Checking and Combat Fake News

The importance of fact-checking and combating fake news on social media cannot be overstated. False information has the potential to cause harm, damage reputations, incite fear, and even influence elections. In today’s digital age, where information is readily available at our fingertips, it’s essential that we take responsibility for ensuring the accuracy of what we share.

Media literacy

, which involves being able to critically evaluate information, is key in this regard.

Call to Action for Readers

As we conclude, it’s important that each one of us takes a pledge to stay informed, fact-check information before sharing it, and promote media literacy. By doing so, we can help create an environment where accurate information prevails over falsehoods. Let’s make a commitment to be more mindful of the sources we rely on, question information that seems too good (or bad) to be true, and encourage those around us to do the same. Together, we can make a difference in the fight against fake news on social media.