Corporate name: Teyit. Website link is used in brackets when necessary.
Teyit (teyit.org) scans the information on the Internet, selects suspicious ones, investigates and shares the results with the reader. Its aim is to promote critical thinking skills and to increase digital media literacy.
The information that Teyit would identify as "suspicious" should be one of the following: Information which is supernatural or surreal, beyond the reach of science or human mind, which is not found to be based on evidence or testimony, unlikely to be real, unlikely to be at the claimed place and time, apparently agitated and exaggerated by decontextualizing, and in which different witnesses make different interpretations.
Teyit is not a news website, but a news verification website. Verification or fact-checking is a requirement for every news website, but it is the job itself at Teyit. Teyit examines and publishes the content only if,
Teyit does not use concepts such as “fake news” that question or predict the motivation of the content's creator. If a suspicious information proves to be false/incorrect with evidences, the content is defined as “false information”. It is not Teyit's priority to determine whether false information is produced for disinformation purposes.
The publication principles must comply with the principles of the International Fact-Checking Network, as well as the mission of the organisation, and the principles of independent journalism.
Teyit does not prioritize swiftness over quality. Teyit does not publish content lacking sufficient and qualified evidence. The editorial team decides what is newsworthy for Teyit; however, the criteria sought for evidence cannot be stretched.
Every piece of information and evidence Teyit examine and evaluate are obtained from publicly available, accessible, and understandable sources. No inference is made through comment and commentary.
Teyit does not collect opinions and information from confidential sources. Sources cannot be promised that their identities will be kept confidential.
Teyit pays the maximum attention to name and image rights and presumption of innocence. Suspicious news that violates the privacy of private life is not examined and published. Social media posts that are not shared "publicly", and names and profile photos of commenters on social media platforms are not published and privacy preferences of people are respected.
Teyit does not examine forensic cases, processes requiring prosecution, and evidence that can only be gathered in the jurisdiction of the police.
Teyit does not examine any suspicious news that requires a trial, that will remain suspicious until the verdict is obtained, that the evidence can only be collected by court order.
Teyit does not examine evidence that can only be gathered through intelligence activities and cases that cannot be solved without knowing the secret activities of states.
Teyit does not publish content that would nurture armed organisations and does not allow their propaganda to spread.
In contents where hate speech is likely to turn into a hate crime, Teyit shall act cautious, and not publish anything that would raise hate.
During interviews with eyewitnesses, the mental state and psychological factors are taken into consideration. Questions that require reminding traumatic events to an eyewitness are not asked.
When trying to obtain information, eyewitnesses at the scene are warned of risks and witnesses are not forced unless they feel safe.
Due to the increase in the tendency of false information to spread in times of crisis, Teyit may act out of the ordinary working conditions to prevent humane crises and innocent people from being affected. During these periods, we work more carefully. The “accurate” photos and videos that appear in moments of crisis are not published unless they are questionable. Here, we act in accordance with the "non-news-website" criteria.
Teyit does not prioritize work over person. In Teyit, well-being of the employees is important and respect for fundamental rights and personal rights determined by law is essential.
In any of the content that belongs to Teyit, racist, sexist, homophobic expressions, terms that insult certain segments of the society, reinforce or reproduce prejudices, cause somebody to become the target for anything, and carry the characteristics of hate speech cannot be used. Employees are responsible to each other and to the reader.
In verifying false news about vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, virality and urgency criteria can be ignored in favor of importance.
Teyit respects constitutional boundaries in statements concerning ethnic, religious, and national identities and symbols.
No resources or information can be obtained from sources under the age of 18 without the permission and escort of their parents or legal persons.
In contents where children under the age of 18 are victims, sex is not specified except in cases where the claim has to be repeated. (For example, "the claim that he abused an eight-year-old child" instead of "the claim that he abused an eight-year-old girl.)
The original statements used in the claims, texts, audio or video recordings may be left unchanged, even if they violate the publication principles of Teyit.
All suspicious information or all news relayed as suspicious are verified or falsified, using the same tools, and approached in the same way.
Suspicious information to be reviewed by the editors is not selected arbitrarily, but according to the criteria of importance, virality, and urgency.
Inside the fact-checks published on Teyit, all stages of verification or falsification and the evidence are clearly stated.
Corrections and updates to the content are clearly stated.
When a content published by Teyit is blocked by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority, the situation is announced to the reader with the same title and the relevant judicial decision.
The identities of all Teyit employees and managers are publicly available. Employees declare interest to the organisation.
Teyit's financial resources are publicly available on its website. None of the funder organisations have an impact on the fact-checks or articles published on Teyit. Attempts to interfere Teyit's content policy or methodology are not accepted. In an event of a possible intervention, the relationship with the institution is terminated, and this situation is shared with the reader.
Teyit provides verifiable facts concerning the information, without being a party to any political debate.
Teyit pays the maximum attention to ensure that the report system does not become an order system. Teyit works with the person or institution on the premise that they inform the team about the suspicious information. When third parties and institutions order fact-checks and force Teyit to write fact-checks for their own interests, Teyit acts without compromise and respect the public interest.
Teyit respects pluralism and different worldviews. However, it does not allow any ideological stance to affect the work performed.
Prioritisation of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups cannot be interpreted as a violation of impartiality.
Teyit, as an institution, or a Teyit employee does not pursue a publishing policy in favor of or against a particular person, institution, political party, group or interest. It adopts a fair, open, and supra-political-party attitude at an equal distance to all parties. This principle is regarded at all stages of content production.
Teyit employees cannot be members of any political party and cannot take part in election campaigns. Employees cannot make statements and announcements in their personal social media accounts or blogs that conflict with the publishing principles and editorial independence.
Teyit favors neutral expressions as a requirement of journalistic ethics and impartiality, instead of using discourse and expressions associated with any country, religion, language, race, society, ethnicity or a particular ideology (For example, we use "member of an organisation" or "militant" instead of "terrorist" and "lost his life" or "he was murdered" instead of "he was martyred")
Teyit assumes that political inclination, conflicts of interest, or prejudice of individuals may harm the evidence. Therefore, interviews with experts are not considered as evidence, but as opinions that can corroborate the evidence. Interviews with the source or witness of the news or event are not considered as direct evidence either but as a means of verifying the evidence.
Editors interview the witnesses and experts with their real identities. They do not use pseudonyms and pen names, and no anonymous interview is done.
Teyit covers the costs of travel, accommodation, and other requirements arising from a task related to the institution. Third parties cannot be in a material relationship with any Teyit employee unless there is an editorial obligation.
The most important thing for Teyit is having all Internet users who get news from the Internet to develop a habit of following the truth and improving their critical thinking skills, while preventing the spread of false information, false news, or image. In these processes, the fact-checks may be updated in the light of the new evidences or data. When an update is required, anyone who accesses the fact-checks written by Teyit will be able to see them. This does not include correction of simple material errors.
If any new data emerges concerning a published fact-check and if the fact-check needs update based on this new data, the update is announced. Updates are indicated at the bottom of the fact-check with the date and time and with a statement about what has been changed in the text. Updates are not announced on social media.
If there is a suspicion that there is an error in one of the fact-checks, the scanning process is restarted. If the request for review comes from the readers, the resource is requested. During the review process, the principle of accessibility of resources is followed. If an error is detected, correction date and time is indicated at the bottom of the article.
If the error change the result of the fact-check and affect an individual or an institution, an apology is published via social media. The editor determines the content of the apology.
If the corrections change the result of the fact-check, the content is disseminated until it reaches the number of people the initial version has reached.
If an update or correction is required again, the same steps are repeated.
When a fact-check is refuted by legal means, the correction policy is followed. If an error is detected, the refutation is published and the content is removed with a statement.
Legal and financial responsible at Teyit is Mehmet Atakan Foça on behalf of Teyit Medya A.Ş.. Teyit becomes a party to any legal process that any editor may face due to their work, and undertakes legal expenses.
When the contents produced are used without giving the source, first, a warning is given and after that, it is removed by court decision.
Legal action will be taken against clone publications where goodwill is suspicious or if the field is likely to be damaged.
Editorial rules cannot contradict the mission and publication principles of the institution. The aim is the public access to true information. Editorial decisions are made collectively by the editorial team. The board of directors, shareholders, investors, funders, or administrative staff of the company and the foundation are not decision-makers in the editorial processes.
The production process has multiple stages and goes as such:
We start by scanning suspicious news. The biggest helpers here are the followers. Our followers who are not sure of the accuracy of the information they encounter on the Internet send an average of 32 unique suspicious information daily to Teyit via Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and e-mail (as of October 2019). These are called “report".
In addition to suspicious information transmitted through social media and WhatsApp report channels, editors collect suspicious news they find on a daily Internet scan. We use basic tools to measure prevalence, in particular, Qoshe for columnists, Medyatakip and Interpress for daily newspapers, Tweetdeck for Twitter, Crowdtangle for news websites, troll accounts and politicians' accounts, suspicious news lists and news sites for Facebook, and viral detection.
The suspicious pieces are gathered in a panel called “Dubito". This way, all claims can be compiled and managed on a single page.
A prioritisation method including three criteria is applied to manage time effectively.
First, we check whether the claim is verifiable based on data and concrete evidence. Teyit does not investigate topics that are allegedly spoken by two people or a group and which cannot be labelled as correct unless one is present during the conversation, even if the sources are accessible. Predictions and claims about the future and assumptions about the events that are expected to occur are not investigable either.
Interpersonal conversations, interpretations, assertions that contain assumptions or predictions for the future, and events that have happened in so much back in the past that it cannot be traced are eliminated at this stage. If the claim is not verifiable, it is removed and not considered again in the future.
Teyit chooses among the verifiable claims according to the importance and virality in regular times, and also urgency criteria in times of crisis. Criteria do not mean that Teyit will not cover content which is not viral; it means that what is viral among multiple works will be prioritised.
Virality: Content which is on the agenda of the Internet users, and has a certain number of interactions. Virality criteria may differ according to the social media platform on which the suspicious news is spread.
Importance: Content that can have an impact on individuals, communities, groups, systems, rights, or democracy.
Urgency: A content which occurs during moments of crisis where emotional breaks are experienced and which is exacerbated by social anger and fear, and which needs to be verified even if it is not viral. (Moment of crisis: periods of emotional elevations, traumatic events, increased polarisation in society, increased hate speech related to events, election periods, systemic changes, natural and human-related disasters)
If the claim meets these criteria, research begins after determining who will review it. Those outside the prioritisation criteria are archived and can be reviewed again when they meet the publication criteria over time.
At least two pieces of evidence are revealed on the accuracy or falsity of the claim. These pieces of evidence must be verifiable and must be obtained from sources accessible to all users. The pieces of evidence must confirm each other, and there should be no inconsistency between them. Then the writing process begins.
Teyit evaluates the evidence according to the criteria of publicity and certainty in the following order of priority:
Resources and evidence that can be accessed via a link on the Internet are archived on “teyit.link" or “archive.is", and these archive links are given in the fact-checks to ensure that the links are preserved as they were first accessed, in case there is a change or loss. For evidence that cannot be accessed via a link, an image is preferred. Archived source links are embedded in appropriate words or phrases within the text.
If the only way to verify the claim is the statement of an institution or a person, tangible documents or solid evidence is required. If the subject is not of the quality that can be documented, and the sole source is the person, Teyit can be flexible for accepting the evidence. The second piece of evidence is reviewed.
In addition to the digital tools used for verification or falsification, we access all available resources to confirm the accuracy or fallacy of the news.
Every piece of evidence identified in the fact-checks is included in a separate section called "evidences", which is accessible to everyone. Thus, it becomes easier for the user to access the data to check the accuracy of the information, follow the verification process, and detect the errors.
The original links of all sources are given in this section with their name and publication date. (For example, name of the source page, a summary of the information in the source link, date)
For translated texts or texts obtained from a different publishing organisation, the original page on which the text was published and the name of the author are given in the sources. The name of the translator and the source of the cover image are given in this section. (For example; name of the website on which the original text was published, the title of the original text, the name of the author of the text)
If the article has been translated into Turkish by another website, the citation is as follows: The name of the website where the original text was published, the title of the original text, the name of the author of the text, the name of the website that translated the text, and the name of the translator.
In the fact-check to be published in Teyit, a certain structure is followed in accordance with the public's right to demand information. Techniques that are misleading or intend to increase accessibility by hiding the information are avoided. The flow is subject to change as required on different cases, but as follows as a rule:
In accordance with the internal verification process, the resources collected and the fact-checks prepared are edited and approved by at least two editors other than the fact-checker. This process has two stages. In the first stage, the evidence, the accuracy of the evidence, and the consistency of the evidence are checked. In the second stage, the simplicity of the narration, whether the narrative is structured to minimize the backlash, and the spelling is checked.
If the evidence is found to be inaccurate, or the sources are unreliable, or the evidence does not verify each other, the case is not published; however, it is announced to users.
At the end, the claims can be put under four different categories:
The person or institution that has been found to have spread false information may exercise the right to reply. The request of right to reply is sent to [email protected] email address.
The two-factor verification method is used to ensure that the applicant and the person or institution referenced in the news are the same.
After the request is evaluated, the answer is assessed in the relevant text as the editor deems appropriate.
After a fact-check is published and delivered to the users via social media, social media accounts and news websites that disseminate false information are regularly checked. If there is a medium that corrects or removes the false information, it will be announced on Teyit's Twitter account, with the title of "teyit takip".
In accordance with the public's right to access information, a clear and simple expression style is adopted in Teyit's contents.
For terms, phrases, adjectives, and definitions used, Teyit is not obliged to abide by the expressions which are preferred by the public. Teyit may prefer to use these expressions differently within the framework of publishing principles and journalism.
Clarity and intelligibility are essential in the text; the text will be as concise and short as possible. Long and complex sentences, uncommon expressions or expressions with foreign origin, and academic and terminological language are avoided unless they are necessary. If they are necessary, these expressions are explained in brackets in the text.
Officialese is avoided; the sentences is formed in simple past, simple present or future tenses.
Dramatic, emotional, traumatic, exaggerated expressions that may provoke all or a certain part of society are avoided; restrained and detached alternatives of these expressions are preferred. (For example, expressions such as massacre, rape, martyr, terrorist, homeland, honor)
Sarcastic or harsh expressions are avoided. No matter what the content and the source are, the claim is examined and the fact-check is written with equal seriousness and fortitude.
“Caution: Graphic images" is indicated at the beginning of a content if there is a violent or frightful image that may disturb some people, adults or children.
In paragraphs, individual opinions or long quotations will either be written inside quotation marks in first person or rephrased in third person indicating the source.
Inside the fact-checks, confusing pieces of text or the pieces which the author deemed significant can be written in bold type.
In order for some expressions to be understood easily, Teyit can prefer mumpsimus expressions.
Unless necessary, uppercase letters and excessive punctuation marks are avoided, including in headings and subheadings
The aim of using social media is to provide users with true information and to reach as many people as possible.
The channels where suspicious news is produced and disseminated, where the target audience exists, and which are considered necessary and manageable are prioritised.
Teyit broadcasts and publishes content on five social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn). Also, it has an application named Dubito where Teyit records the reports it received from Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp. New platforms can be added to the list by keeping the virality and importance criteria in mind.
In each of these platforms, Teyit's strategies and the way it conveys the content may vary. However, the general principles are the same for all platforms.
The language and expressions used in the social media contents must comply with Teyit's publishing principles and spelling rules.
Teyit uses simple and clear expressions in the texts written for social media. It stays away from clickbait.
Teyit uses clear and simple expressions for data visualisation and graphs produced for social media platforms. It tries to ensure that the texts for graphs are written in an explanatory way and that it avoids confusing expressions.
When using the visual (based on the medium), Teyit prefers visuals reminding the users about the news and suspicious news. It intends that the user can easily decide whether the image is true when they see it again.
Teyit acts upon the principle that the user should be able to access the most important piece of information even if they do not visit the link address; the most appropriate text is prepared to eliminate the questions.
Teyit cares about user communication. It answers the questions and tries to provide context for the missing information. However, it pays attention not to contend and argue with its readers. It avoids engaging in polemics.
Teyit does not discriminate, insult, or humiliate while communicating with the social media followers. It avoids interactions that may provide a basis for such situations.
If the social media user has a real name rather than a nickname, Teyit addresses them by their first name. Formal addressing may be preferred if they represent an institution or authority.
Teyit does not respond to comments that directly point someone as a target, including swearwords, insults, and humiliation. Teyit expressly declares that it does not share the same views with such persons, institutions, and ideas.
If there are direct comments which aim at targeting someone and which contain false information, these comments can be replied to refute the false information.
Teyit may choose to use an informal or humorous language while interacting with personal or corporate accounts.