Turkey (with 49 percent) has become the country that suffered the most in fake news, disinformation and misleading reports among the 37 countries, which have been investigated, according to a study conducted by the Oxford University and Reuters.
“The global debate over so-called ‘fake news’ has changed a lot in the last year. What began as concern over the narrow problem of completely made-up news stories has since sparked a renewed interest in the much broader issue of online misinformation,” said the study which also covers proportion of people who say they were exposed to completely made-up news.
The study stated that “Considering exposure to completely made-up news stories, the figure in the US is high at 31 percent, but exposure is even more widespread in Eastern European countries like Hungary (42 percent) and Romania (38 percent), and Mediterranean countries like Greece (44 percent) and Turkey (49 percent).
“In the UK, the figure is 15 percent, and lower still in other Northern and Western European countries like Germany (9 percent), Denmark (9 percent), and the Netherlands (10 percent),” said the study and added that “In these countries, exposure to completely made-up news stories is typically less widespread than all of the other forms of misinformation we asked about.”
Turkey is ranked 157th among 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). If Turkey falls two more places, it will make it to the list of countries on the blacklist, which have the poorest record in press freedom.
Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by SCF show that 242 journalists and media workers were in jail as of June 3, 2018, most in pretrial detention. Of those in prison 182 were under arrest pending trial while only 60 journalists have been convicted and are serving their time. Detention warrants are outstanding for 142 journalists who are living in exile or remain at large in Turkey.
Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the Gülen movement, the government also closed down some 200 media outlets, including Kurdish news agencies and newspapers, after a coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016.