Saturday 5 December, 2020

Google donates US$6.5M to help fight coronavirus fake news

Google said it will be donating US$6.5 million toward helping to stop the spread of fake news online on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a statement issued Thursday, the company said the money will go to fact-checkers and nonprofit organisations fighting misinformation around the world, with an immediate focus on COVID-19.

"Collaboration is a crucial component of journalism’s response to a story as complicated and all-encompassing as COVID-19. For this reason, the Google News Initiative (GNI) is stepping up its support for First Draft. 

"The nonprofit is providing an online resource hub, dedicated training and crisis simulations for reporters covering COVID-19 all over the globe.

"First Draft is also using its extensive CrossCheck network to help newsrooms respond quickly and address escalating content that is causing confusion and harm. We’re also renewing our support for the collaborative verification project Comprova in Brazil."

The company is also providing support to NGOs and fact-checkers which help reduce the spread of harmful information, including Full Fact Maldita.esCORRECTIV  and others which will stop the spread of misinformation in Europe.

In Latin America funding will to to organisations such as LatamChequea, coordinated by Chequeado, which is providing a single hub to highlight the work of 21 fact-checking organizations across 15 countries in the Spanish-speaking world and Latin America.

Other groups such as PolitiFact and Kaiser Health News will expand their health fact-checking partnership to focus on COVID-19 misinformation, with funding from the grant. 

Google is also creating a database for reporters developed by the journalism technology nonprofit Meedan in partnership with public health experts.

The company is allocating funding toward the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) and said Science Feedback will conduct a network analysis using the hundreds of COVID-19 fact checks published globally to track the spread of related misinformation.

The company is also making Google Trends data readily available in localized pages with embeddable visualizations and making local data more available for journalists, health organisations and local authorities. 

For the full statement see here: 

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