More e-bike, no e-fake

From the experimentation of the debate methodology to the verification of sources and data with the TAG method of the Open The box project.

The project brings career experts to the classroom on issues at the center of the digital debate:posts on social profiles, memes, short videos, and deep fakes.

Who we are

Let me introduce myself, I am Raffaela Auriemma, a student of I.S.I.S. Europa of Pomigliano D’Arco, class 2C technical address for graphics and communication.

This year the theme chosen for the UDA (teaching unit of learning) had as its focus the goal 11 of the 2030 Agenda: to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

But, how can we help humanity by not having great powers to do so?

The answer is simple, never underestimate the strength of things of people who strive for the same goal.

In class, the theme is address in all disciplines, and each student, in small groups, studied a specific theme.

Me, together with Antonella and Jasmine, came across the following blog: and we asked ourselves:

“Do bicycles meet our needs?”

To answer, we leveraged everything that was preciously learned, from the experimentation of the debate methodology , to the verification of sources and data with the TAG method of the “Open The box” project, a project that, thanks to a career, brings the topics to the classroom center of the digital debate

Why e-bikes?

“When future generations, judge those who came before them on environmental issues, they may come to the conclusion that they “didn’t know”:

let’s make sure we don’t go down in history as the generation that knew but didn’t care.

Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev

Melting glaciers, deforestation, rising sea levels, pollution, endangered animals … THIS IS NOT THE WORLD WE WANT TO LIVE IN!

We have to change our lifestyle, for the better!

We start from everyday life, and we try to promote sustainable mobility solutions in line with the commitments that the States have taken on with the 2030 Agenda (Goal 11).

So, let’s start with a real problem, namely providing safe, sustainable, and affordable transport systems for all (Goal 11, Target 11.2), and to solve it, we propose a solution that we intend to discuss.

So, we are debating the following motion:

This assembly argues that the state must finance the production of electric bicycles”.

To analyze the motion we used the “Keywords” method and the “Stakeholders” method, visible at the link:

With the mathematics teacher, we participated in the lessons of the “Open the box” project, and thanks to the experts: dr. Federica Arenare, project manager, and Nicola Bruno, project director, were led to the study and deepening of issues on media and data literacy.

“Open the Box” is an interactive training event, which uses live quizzes during which, we explore the different content formats we encounter every day online, such as posts on social profiles, memes, short videos, and deep fakes.

The pupils have the opportunity to discover tools, strategies, and methods to verify the reliability of the information sources found on the web while having fun on Kahoot

  • Can you recognize online content?
  • How do you go about verifying the reliability of a source?

Do you recognize when a content is manipulated?

The experience is shared by teachers and students to test their knowledge, and the degree of awareness. They have concerning the different types of content with which online information circulates.

The lessons are organizedI in the following way

  • quiz on
  • a ppt presentation or watching a video, to provide the skills and tools useful to recognize and verify online sources.
  • activities to do at home or at school
  • a test to evaluate the skills acquired.

During a meetings with the experts, we students interviewed Dr. Federica Arenare who told us about her work.

Career Sheet: Project manager

After analyzing the motion, we verified the veracity of the information online through the methodTAG After analyzing the motion, we verified the veracity of the information online through the method TAG of the Open the Box project presented by the experts.


Below are the steps for verifying sources with the use of specific tools.

We start from the article found on the net:

Article In 2020, more than 2 million bicycles sold in Italy

Media Literacy and application TAG method

  1. Find the primary source.


-Is the site name credible?

It is a specialized blog, that is, a site that talks about topics related to the world of bicycles. On the site there is a “About me” section where you can find all the relevant information about the author: a journalist with a lot of experience in the travel industry, bike blogger and web writing expert. Our research shows that the author is also present on the social networks Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

– Is the URL address reliable?

 Yes, because the “https” protocol is secure.

– Who is behind the site?

Through the Whois Lookup tool, we verify that the information relating to the domain is present. The name of the person who registered the domain corresponds to the information in the About section of the site.

-What do the disclaimers say?

The disclaimers tells which personal data are used, and the owner of the treatment of them.

The analysis shows the following:

Has the site been online for a long time?

Using the Wayback Machine tool, we have noticed that the site has never disappeared from the web over the years. Still regarding the source, we looked for the first contents published by the journalist on the site. The “home” screen was created on June 9, 2017, then the portfolio and biography dated June 14, 2017 are published.

Which social pages show the contents of the site you used?

With the Crowdtangle tool we have detected social sharing by profiles related to the bike world.

2. Analyze the content

– Is the information contained in the article reliable?

We do not yet know whether the information reported can be considered reliable:

from the analysis of the source, some information appears to be incomplete but not entirely suspicious.

Already in recent years there has been a significant increase in the use of electric bicycles and the data reported indicates an increase in the production of E-bikes: since this information matches, the information could be reliable.

Among other things, the “boom” in e-bike sales of 2020 can be attributed above all to the government bonus that prompted many Italian citizens to buy one.

3. Look around.

What do other sites say on the same topic?

Searching the net on other sites for the news, we found the correspondence of the data.

Data Literacy Data reliability

We then focused on the accuracy and reliability of the data reported in the tables in the article. These are the estimates of Confindustria ANCMA, the National Association of Cycle Motorcycle Accessories, communicated on 25 March 2021 and reported below.

We observe that if we consider, for example, the year 2018 for the sale of bicycles, the figure is 1.422.000 calculating the increase of 7% for 2019, we would have 1.521.540, but this result is approximated to the whole number 1.518.000.

The relative increase is 96,000 / 1,422,000 = 0.0675, which in percentage corresponds to 6.75%, approximately 7%.

Proceeding in the same way, we note that also in other cases, the figures are rounded up or down.

In addition, the 209 % increase in the production of E-bikes is noteworthy.

Speaking of increases, the correct result is :

+ 109 %, because 109 % * 102.000 = 111.180, therefore, 111.180 + 102.000 = 213.180

If therefore, we consider the% as increments then we should write + 109%.

From a careful reading of the first table, we also note that in the last row “Cycle Sector Commercial Balance” the data relating to the years 2019 and 2020 are reversed.

Another very important aspect is that we are faced with a cherry-picking effect:

ignoring the evidence that would refute one’s thesis by highlighting only the information in favor. Newspapers tend to speak of a “boom effect” by altering the terms and titles of the articles, which is not entirely correct if we analyze the 2000-2020 trend.

A revision of the data is on “Statista”

For example, we can see that in 2007, almost 2 million were reached and then decreased in the following years.

Therefore it is correct to speak of records (in 2020 the maximum sales peak was reached), while speaking of the bicycle boom seems more forced.

The primary source

The data comes from Confindustria ANCMA: National Association of Cycle Motorcycle Accessories.

The source is reliable as ANCMA is a commercial organization of bicycle manufacturers and the data is not independent. There are no others on this subject from different sources.

Datalink 2020:

The end, we have analyzed the percentages in the table and reported in bold the percentages calculated without approximation



We remain convinced that bike mobility is the solution to various problems for society and that the individual it is always important to provide correct data.

Conclusions to the internet public, which must pay attention to disinformation and fake news.

We thank the experts: dr. Federica Arenare and Nicola Bruno of the Open The Box project for having guided and supported us in our research.

Teachers: Prof. Sabrina Nappi, Mario Di Fonza, Maddalena Spiezia,

Students: Jasmine Giulia Romano, Raffaela Auriemma, Antonella Aiello,

Class: 2Ctg