Google is Offering $3m To Fact-Check Vaccine Fake News

The uncertainty and problems of the coronavirus pandemic continue to generate fake news and misinformation. Some fact-checkers have already been hard at work debunking falsehoods online and now Google has announced it is looking for projects that demonstrate “clear ways to measure success” and aims to reach groups “disproportionately affected by misinformation”.

The Google News Initiative will offer to pay $3m to news and other fact checking organisations with the objective to reduce fake news and disinformation about Covid-19 vaccines.

The technology giant previously awarded fact-checking projects $6.5m in April 2020 and $1.5m in December and this announcement brings the grand total to organisations debunking lies about the pandemic to $11 million. 

Google’s new fund is open to news organisations of any size, as long as they can demonstrate experience with debunking false information or form a partnership with a recognised fact-checking organisation. 

Projects that demonstrate “clear ways to measure success” and aim to reach groups “disproportionately affected by misinformation” will be prioritised, Google’s news and information wrote in a recent statement.  “Eligible applications might include a partnership between an established fact-checking project and a media outlet with deep roots in a specific community, or a collaborative platform for journalists and doctors to jointly source misinformation and publish fact checks... The fund is global and open to news organisations of every size that have a proven track record in fact-checking and debunking activities, or partner with an organisation with such recognition,” says Google News. 

The initiative is intended to prioritise collaborative projects with an inter-disciplinary team and identify clear ways to measure success. 

Google hope that eligible applications might include a partnership between an established fact-checking project and an existing media outlet with originating in a specific community, or a collaborative technology platform for journalists and doctors to jointly source misinformation and publish fact checks. 

In the UK, the Google News Initiative is intensifying its support for First Draft, a nonprofit organisation that provides verification tools and training.

Google:       Nature:        NiemanLab:      Journalism UK:     Image: Unsplash

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