COVID-19: Google to offer $6.5 million to fight coronavirus misinformation

By Xite - April 3, 2020
Google has announced that it will be providing $6.5 million in funding to fact-checkers and non-profit organisations that are fighting misinformation around the world, with an immediate focus on coron....

Google has announced that it is collaborating with fact-checking platforms and non-profit organisations and providing them with $6.5 million to fight misinformation around the world. The company says that health authorities have warned that an overabundance of information is making it harder for people to get correct and reliable guidance about the pandemic, and it wants to help them by supporting coronavirus fact-checking and verification efforts.

‘Helping the world make sense of this information requires a broad response, involving scientists, journalists, public figures, technology platforms, and many others. Here are some ways we plan to help. Collaboration is a crucial component of journalism’s response to a story as complicated and all-encompassing as COVID-19,’ Alexios Mantzarlis, News and Information Credibility Lead, Google News Lab, said in a blog. Google is supporting several organisations to help them fact-check and verify COVID-19 related information before it is disseminated around the world.

In India, Google is supporting data-driven Indian start-up Data Leads in partnership with BOOM Live – a fact-checking website working to curb the spread of misinformation in the country. Also, an effort will be made to train 1,000 journalists across India and Nigeria to spot health misinformation. Google says that its online resources are being updated, and its Google News Initiative Training Center has tools for data journalism and verification in 16 languages to help stop misinformation.

Additionally, in order to help reporters understand and explain how the world is searching for the virus, Google has made Trends data available in localised pages with embeddable visualisations. ‘We’re also making more local Google Trends data available for journalists, health organisations, and local authorities to help them understand people's information needs around the world,’ the company said.

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