Turkish Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun has said that Turkey will launch a fact-checking app to "counter social media lies."
The app called "DOĞRU MU," which translates as "IS IT TRUE," will check whether information or news spread on social media is fake or not. It will be available for iOS and Android.
Altun's announcement came in response to a call by a pro-government "expert" on the Communications Directorate to form a fact-checking page, while also sharing screenshots of news regarding human rights abuses revealed by Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu.
Uzun süredir çalışmalarını yürüttüğümüz DOĞRU MU platformu tam da bu ihtiyacı karşılamak amacıyla tasarlandı.— Fahrettin Altun (@fahrettinaltun) February 20, 2021
Şu anda test aşamasında.
Çok ama çok yakında yayına geçecek, hakikat mücadelemizin güçlü aygıtlarından biri olacak. https://t.co/bnhWU98YuR pic.twitter.com/SiG1I5zvEc
"Expert" Öznur Küçüker Sirene, who pens pieces for state-run TRT, claimed that the opposition was "poisoning the public through lies based on reports of unjust treatment.
Altun then quoted Sirene and said that the DOĞRU MU platform was designed specifically to meet that need.
"It's currently at the testing stage. It will be launched very soon and will be one of our robust tools in the fight for the truth," Altun said on Feb. 20.
The app was ridiculed on social media since the pro-government media is often the one that spreads fake news. Many users said that another fact-checking app is needed to check DOĞRU MU and pointed out that the app will only brand the news that benefits the government true and the rest as fake.
Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has long been trying to curb the influence of social media, which is where people have turned to since it tightened its grip on the press.