Google is providing more than $6.5 million in funding to fact-checkers and nonprofits fighting misinformation around the world, with an immediate focus on the coronavirus pandemic.
News and Information Credibility Lead at Google News Lab, Alexios Mantzarlis stated “The Google News Initiative is increasing its support for nonprofit First Draft, which provides a resource hub, training and crisis simulations for journalists covering news during times of crisis.”
“We also want to do more to surface fact-checks that address potentially harmful health misinformation more prominently to our users,” Mantzarlis said.
“We’re experimenting with how to best include a dedicated fact-check section in the COVID-19 Google News experience.”
Google is conducting a test in India and Africa to explore how to use trends in what people are asking or searching for online to let fact-checkers know where a lack of reliable answers may invite misinformation.
“There is definitely an appetite for this stuff,” Mantzarlis said.
“We grasp for certainty, a glimmer of something we can do to protect ourselves and those we care about. It makes us more vulnerable to this kind of misinformation.”
Facebook has also supported fact-checking operations with different media companies includin AFP, Reuters and the Associated Press, under which content rated false is downgraded in news feeds so that fewer people see it.