The project refers to the criminal and criminological approach of the disinformation and the dissemination of false information phenomenon (fake news) on the internet and social media, in the form of hoaxes and the reformation of the provision of the article 191 of the Greek Penal Code regarding the dissemination of false information online. This phenomenon requires interdisciplinary and cross – thematic investigation, thus the cooperation with scientists operating in the field and the scientific sector of information technology and marketing through the information system is necessary.

Duration, start and progress of the project

The project is expected to last 36 months.
The financing decision has been issued on 12 September 2018. The contracts for the implementation of the project have been signed with the host institute on 5 November 2018.
The project is currently in progress in the context of WP3.


  • Examination of the appearance and subsequent historical development of the practice of disinformaton, fake news and hoaxes up to its current aspect.
  • Analysis of the modus operandi of the perpetrators and the diverse forms of this phenomenon from a technical standpoint, especially from a cost – benefit point of view for the perpetrator (rational choice).
  • Criminological approach with regard to the motives and the aims of those who resort to such practices.
  • Presentation of the legal treatment of online disinformation, fake news and hoaxes by the current legislation at a national and European level.
  • Survey on a sample of users of social media, which will be mainly conducted on primary data collected by a questionnaire and interview technique on a feasibility sample.
  • Definition of the requirements and the directions in order to update the provision of the article 191 of the Greek Penal Code, if it is considered as necessary by the investigation.
  • Suggestion of measures for the relevant anticrime policy focused on innovative crime prevention policies at a national and international level, without of course ignoring the alternative arrangements and methods, which lie in other areas of law or outside the establishment of legislation.
  • Dissemination of research results and conclusions of the project through the publishing of a monograph, through publications in prestigious scientific journals and presentations at scientific conferences and through the notification of the proposals regarding legislative changes to the provisions concerning the phenomenon of disinformation, fake news and hoaxes to competent bodies.

Why is this project significant for society?

The scientific impact and innovation of the project is important as fake news on the internet and their huge potential for dissemination are a new phenomenon, completely uncharted at a legal treatment level even by the leading European texts and bodies of legislation on cybercrime. Additionally, the treatment of hoaxes concerns – as a technical and economic phenomenon – information technology and marketing further to legal science, which demonstrates the economic, social and scientific impact of the research.

What is the mission of the project?

It is a fact that online messages (especially through social media) are transmitted anonymously and with much greater speed and dispersion on a cross – border basis – these characteristics of the Internet may create a greater insecurity in public life because of false news or a “prank”, to such a point that perhaps even the critical infrastructure of states is threatened. In addition, the economic benefits that may arise from such practices created urgent demands for social scientific research. With this framework in mind, the aim of our project is monitoring the phenomenon, interpreting it and providing solutions in order to restrain it.

What is the host institution?

University of West Attica is the host institution.

What is the collaborating entity?

The Institute of Criminal Justice Studies (ICJS) of University of Portsmouth (UK) is the collaborating entity of the project.

What entity is financing this project?

General Secretariat for Research and Innovation (GSRI) and Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (HFRI) are financing this project.