World Bulletin/News Desk
Frustrated by what they see as a highly-biased narrative by the state and private media, a group of tech-savvy youths have launched a counter campaign on the platform that was the driving force in the 2011 revolution – social media.
Inspired by the "Morsi Meter" – a tool that was created in the wake of the 2012 presidential elections to monitor the performance of then President Mohamed Morsi, the cyber activists have launched a similar meter for Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, the military chief behind Morsi's overthrow last month.
"Our aim is to break the chains of the mainstream media blackout" about violations committed by the authorities following Morsi's ouster, Mohamed Abdel-Hafeez, the founder of the "Sisi Meter" website and Facebook page, told Anadolu Agency.
They document not only the regime violations, but also the overall performance and achievements, Abdel-Hafeez said.
The Facebook page drew 18,410 likes since its launch on July 24.
The activists say they gather information from various sources, including organizations, officials, or even citizens, to provide thorough, objective account of the violent incidents that left scores of people dead and injured.
"Through connections with different field hospitals, human rights organizations, reporters and through the ministry of health's announcements we were able to document more than 500 deaths and 7,000 injured people," said Abdel-Hafeez.
The number of the wounded over the past month alone is almost triple the 2,334 number registered by the "Morsi Meter" during the ousted president's one year in office.
To maintain credibility, Abdel-Hafeez said the team follows specific methodologies to gather information and data.
"When the official sources and field sources give different death tolls, we start from the least numbers and the ones with detailed information about victims, and publish them."
One specific incident highlighted the problem of having two different tolls.
After a bloody dawn outside the Republican Guards headquarters on July 8, the Health Ministry reported 20 deaths while the field hospital put the death toll at 111.
"We were able to identify only 77 of them, the ones which were announced on our website," Abdel-Hafeez recalled.
The "Sisi Meter" initiative also aims at helping those arrested on political charges, amid reports of a crackdown on those joining protests calling for the reinstatement of Morsi.
"We're still in research phase and gathering information about their cases through our legal activists."
The page admins, however, repeatedly face accusations of being affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood, from which the ousted president hails.
Abdel-Hafeez disputes the classification.
The team consists of members from a wide range of political and non-political backgrounds, he said.
"Some are members from the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, some from independent groups and others who do not have any political affiliations."Last Mod: 02 Ağustos 2013, 09:59