Turkey entered into a 2-month election marathon after President Erdogan announced the snap election date on April 18, 2018. As the programs, alliance targets and election pledges of political parties and the presidential candidates were declared, election became the hot topic on the social media and the internet.
As the election marathon started, teyit.org analysed and shared with internet users the results of verification made based on the content caught on teyit.org’s radar and the content sent to teyit.org by users to be verified.
An election observation report on the frequency of users’ access to teyit.org towards the election on June 24 compared to previous periods was published.
The data received from the first report where the period of April 18 to June 5 was examined, were extrapolated through July 4 so that a substantive result is achieved, and a second report was prepared with the data from April 18 to July 4.
In this second report, we gave place to the numbers of reports we received from the users sent to us, which content was reported the most and how much of the suspicious content reported to us were verified as an analysis.
We identified two periods for comparison for this report. First time period was from January 26 2017 when teyit.org published its first analysis on the Constitution Referendum of 2017, until April 16 2017 when the referendum took place and from April 18, 2018 when snap elections were announced until July 4, 2018.
Second time period was between January 1, 2018 and April 18, 2018 and the month-period from July 4. This way, we could make a comparison of user frequency of teyit.org between two elections and pre-election and post-election times.
315 cases were analysed during election time
The users sent us 1460 reports of 315 different suspicious content about the 2018 election from April 18 when the election was announced to July 4. 45 of these suspicious contents were verified and shared with the users as analyses. This makes the content verified by teyit.org editors 14,2% of all the reported content.
Top 5 suspicious content users reported in the election period
Users submitted suspicious content which became hot topic on social media to teyit.org during the election time, on average each suspicious content analysed were reported by 4,6 times, while some contents were reported by much more people. The claim that Anadolu News Agency mistakenly shared pre-determined election results on TVNET tv channel was the content reported the most with 91 reports. It can be seen that this is 23 times more than the average. teyit.org could not publish an analysis on this content because this claim included a prospective claim and the pieces of evidence (if any, data TVNET possesses, data Anadolu Agency provides to tv channels) were not accessible.
Users visited teyit.org more in the election period
teyit.org was visited more, compared to the first 3,5 months of 2018, after Erdogan’s snap election announcement on April 18. The number of unique users increased by 70%, while number of pageviews increased by 75%.
After the snap election was announced, the number of unique website visitors increased by 80% compared to the Constitution Referendum period. The number of page display, on the other hand, increased 2,5 times. The users used teyit.org more on election periods in order to acquire correct information regarding the suspicious content.
More people started following teyit.org during election periods
While the number of analyses increased by 22% in the election period compared to the first 3,5 months, daily follower numbers increased by 27%. During the election time, number of analyses and daily follower numbers increased by 38% compared to Constitution Referendum period. Hence, there appears an increase in the demand of users for correct information parallel to the times of crises and in the incidents of interest to majority of the society.
Suspicious content sent to teyit.org for verification increased more than two times
There is an increase of more than two times in the number of suspicious content reported to teyit.org for verification in the snap election period compared to the first 3,5 months period of the year. When compared to the Constitution Referendum period, there is an 88% increase in the number of reporting. The number of content shared by teyit.org on the social media also increased parallel to the increase in the demand. The number of content shared on teyit.org’s Facebook and Twitter accounts increased by 7% compared to the first 3,5 months period and increased by 34% compared to the referendum period.
Editor’s note: It is of benefit to take the number of teyit.org’s social media followers into consideration when looking at these data. While on January 26 2017, total number of teyit.org’s social media followers was 76 thousand 931, on April 16 2017 this number increased to 133 thousand 41. On January 1 2018 it increased to 236 thousand 441. On April 18, the total number of followers on Facebook and Twitter was 281 thousand 441. On July 4 it reached to 328 thousand 148. These numbers are not the single users but total numbers of followers.
teyit.org, Insight report: what do we doubt on the web?, November 2017
Crowdtangle, Google Analytics, Dubito
İlayda Ece Ova