WHY DO WE FACT CHECKING?
Since social media began to meet almost all of our communication needs, there has been always a new debate does not fall off the agenda: Fake News.
There was of course the problem of misinformation in traditional media such as newspapers and television, but it was not so common to deliberately produce lies and fake news.
Social media incorporated its users into the content production process, and people with their own pages, accounts, channels began to think of themselves as “media professionals”. That’s how the “new journalists” of the new media came about. Malicious use was also uncovered while well-intentioned users produced news for the purpose of sharing what they witnessed or knew.
Fake news, sometimes made for joke purposes, has made social media platforms that are accessible to millions of people, the new tool for issues such as political propaganda, intelligence, terrorist propaganda, abuse of ideological groups.
In recent years, a lot of the news we have seen on social media has caused a serious loss of confidence, but the political and ideological aspects of it, especially the partisan people, do not even need to investigate the truth of the story continues to cause the spread of this false news. And seeing the research as an inconvenience is a major factor in the spread of fake news.
Not only users but journalists, politicians and even academics can produce and disseminate fake news. That’s why there’s a need for independent fact checking platforms that check the accuracy of these news stories. In order to prevent the spread of fake news, which is one of the most important communication agendas of the United Nations, governments and civil society in the world, fact checking platforms have an important function. While it may not spread as fast and as wide as false news, verified or false news has to reach users and be somewhere on the internet.
The number of fact checking platforms in Turkey is very small and these platforms have an important contribution to media literacy. “What is the truth?” team, a group of volunteers who felt responsible during the period of Turkey’s Peace Spring Operation, during which false news stories were produced and spread intensively, consists of Dr. Selman Selim Akyüz, who has been conducting academic studies in the areas of fake news and media-politics relations and the students studying in the field of journalism.
As a platform, we aim to increase the awareness of media literacy in the community and to support the students of the faculty of communication to receive training and experience in the field of fact checking.
“What Is The Truth?” platform aims to continue its way with its long-term, professionalizing and adhering to the principles of journalism in getting accurate news, which is one of the most important needs of people. Our platform, which carries out its work independently and on a voluntary basis, has no connection with any institutions or political organizations. Our platform, which has just completed its foundation, aims to continue its activities under the umbrella of non-governmental organizations in the coming period.
The platform “What’s This Truth?” consists of a team working on a voluntary basis. Our platform does not receive financial support from any organization. However when it comes to the stage of fulfilling the requirements of the professional fact checking platform, we have future plans to establish cooperation with civil society organizations and without the purpose of profit, to produce the financial resources to enable work to continue.
Founder: Dr. Selman Selim Akyüz / Lecturer in Faculty of Communicaiton at Selcuk University
Team of Fact Checking: Alaaddin Aladağ, Hasan Hüseyin Bozlak, Zeynep Tanrıkulu, Aslı Sena Çevikbaş, Ali Osman Ergen, Emre Aslantaş.