RELIGIOUS INFORMATION SEEKING IN THE INFORMATION SOCIETY: A STUDY ON RELIABILITY AND QUALITY CRITERIA OF RELIGIOUS INFORMATION ON THE INTERNET

Abstract

Author(s): Metin EKEN,Hakan AYDIN,

In the information age, internet is one of the most basic sources of information, and this is same in terms of religious information search/acquisition practices. In this direction, the need for acquisition of religious information today is increasingly met by the internet environment together with traditional religious institutions. In context of this need many religious organizations transfer their institutional structures to online environments at the same time and the diversity of religious information in the online environment is increasing day by day. This present situation raises many questions and problems as “what is the criteria of reliability and quality of the information on the internet? how individuals use the internet in the acquisition of religious information process and how these usage habits differ from traditional acquisition of religious information processes? and what is the role of internet as an agency and a medium in this processes?”The comprehensive consideration of such questions and problems at an academic level requires a long-term research process that transcends the boundaries of this work and requires multiple research perspectives. In this respect, this study focuses on the reliability of the religious information on the internet as the first step of the research process and aims to determine the user-oriented quality criteria. In this study, the criteria determined by the method of literature review was used as a functional tool in the evaluation of six internet websites which are mostly clicked in Turkish religious information sources and fiqh category in the light of Alexa data. In this respect, the study has the potential to serve as a concrete outcome, such as increasing the level of awareness of internet users, as well as being an important initiative in identifying the reliability of religious information on the internet. As a result of the study, it has been determined that internet sites providing religious information have significant deficiencies in competence, authority and coverage, and these deficiencies lead to reliability problems.

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