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Turkish government's fact-checking app brings concern, ridicule

Turkey’s information tsar Fahrettin Altun’s announcement of a “next-generation application” to combat “false facts” raised fears of further control over social media.
In this picture taken on September 30, 2020 shows logos of social networking websites displayed on a mobile phone's screen in Istanbul. - Turkey on Thursday starts life under a new social media law that threatens to erase the local presence of Facebook and Twitter should they fail to take down contentious posts.The new legislation was pushed through by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AKP party and follows the government's crackdown on opposition newspapers and television channels. (Photo by Ozan KOS

When the Turkish government announced May 20 that it would launch a next generation fact-checking platform to counter misinformation on social media, the first reaction from the government’s critics was ridicule.

“A great app — get a reply from the government so that you know for a fact that the opposite is true,” tweeted one user. Can Okar, a widely followed Turkish user based in Switzerland, tweeted an imaginary scenario: "An inquiry such as 'Let me check the president’s statement that Turkey has $95 billion reserves [while] all the economists say they’re gone' would yield the reply, '[The app] says those economists are terrorists and so are you for even asking.'” 

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