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Studies conducted before the massification of the ICTs have estimated that about 80% of those joining a political movement had pre-existing connections with people already in the movement (Diani and Lodi, 1989). The role of social capital in facilitating mobilisation is well supported theoretically and empirically (Seyd and Whiteley 2004; Ostrom and Ahn 2007). Internet technologies should theoretically reduce the importance of existing face-to-face networks and social capital for political mobilisation (Lybeck, Koiranen & Koivula 2023): Internet users can more easily activate connections to a political movement, even in the absence of any existing direct, personal connection. We investigate whether this is the case using responses to an online survey (n = 698) administered to participants at face-to-face meetings organised to support Italy’s M5S. The case study is particularly pertinent to assess our research question as the selected party is one of Europe’s main digital native political organisations (Gerbaudo 2018). Not surprisingly, preliminary results indicate that ‘pre- existing connections’ are, on average, still critical. Taking advantage of the uneven distribution of social capital between northern and southern regions and using a number of control questions about political interest and knowledge, political distrust and individual participatory experiences, we further investigate frequency and characteristics of instances where ICTs appeared to have successfully substituted social capital in recruiting participants.