Italy's premier-designate Conte leaps into social media

Italy's 5-Star Movement has long been at the forefront of using social media to engage its base and promote its "direct democracy" ethos, and its first-ever premier-designate, Giuseppe Conte, has finally caught the bug.

Conte this week has launched Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts after having had virtually no social media presence or public following before. He has caught up with his political masters who became the single biggest political party in Parliament thanks to a well-oiled Facebook machine and blog and without the support of traditional media.

On Friday, as Conte's real accounts did battle with a plethora of fake accounts that have sprung up in recent days, the 5-Star spokesman made a point to inform journalists of the accurate addresses and handles, lest anyone get confused.