Turkey is in a spiral of violence and polarization since June 2015. Successive attacks, explosions and the coup attempt on July 15th caused us to spend our days in fear and panic.
The eroding trust to the news organizations since the Gezi Park protests and the increasing importance of social media for interactive communication have shown that how internet can be lifesaving for receiving and transmitting news during traumatic events.
Nonetheless, the effort made by news sites to get clicks, the emotional reactions to events, the posts shared with reaction and anger have made the wrong content frequently shared on social media by changing the direction of information . We have started to encounter distorted news and fictionalized information during almost every moment of crisis.
Spreading misinformation to the extent of embittering conflicts, incremental increasement of trauma and emergence of humanitarian crisis, during the times of crisis that can shake the society at its core, is always the most fearsome thing. Because, a traumatized society rarely realizes that gossip replaces the truth and whisper causes fear, as long as they cannot reach healthy and reliable information.
In an era of the habit of not reporting unverified information is shadowed by the concern of getting clicks, exposing the mistakes made on social media and more importantly on mainstream media emerges as a journalism responsibility.
teyit.org is ready to assume this responsibility. It has emerged as a group of data-volunteers with mostly journalist backgrounds stepped into action. This group who understands objectivity as abiding by the truth, who does not afraid of transparency and makes principle of exhibiting social-good oriented journalism, has a dream of a world based on truth.
In the next term, teyit.org is going to produce daily information, show the news sites their mistakes and warn the users about the doubtful news.
While doing all these, we are going to combine the suspicion and curiosity of the users who receive news from internet with digital resources, reliable news sources and the journalism experience of our team. During the moments of chaos, in order to prevent people getting hurt by false information, we will work hard. We will minimize misleading information and state of conflict by working with emergency services and non-governmental organizations.
We, the teyit.org team, are aware of the fact that only abiding by the truth and facts will draw criticism from many people and institutions. However, we are conscious that the verification work we are trying to do is a humanitarian responsibility and it is related to the freedom information directly. We think that willpower to overcome the difficulties we encounter stems from putting the humanitarian values and journalism ethics in front of polarization.
* Featured Image: Sébastien Thibault / Guardian