Google, YouTube to invest $13.2 mn to help fight misinformation

In a bid to further fight misinformation, Google and YouTube have announced a $13.2 million grant to the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) at the nonprofit Poynter Institute to launch a new Global Fact Check Fund.

The new fund, to open in early 2023, will support their network of 135 fact-checking organisations from 65 countries, covering over 80 languages.

“Building on our previous work to address misinformation, this is Google and YouTube’s single largest grant in fact-checking,” the company said in a statement.

The Global Fact Check Fund will help fact-checkers to scale existing operations or launch new ones that elevate information, uplift credible sources and reduce the harm of misinformation and disinformation around the globe.

Google said that fact-checking organisations can use the funding to incorporate new technologies, create or expand digital footprints, optimise verification tools, and increase their capacities to deepen audience engagement through innovative storytelling formats such as audio, video or podcasts.

Fact-check panels on YouTube appear at the top of search results for queries related to a specific claim, helping provide viewers with additional context.

“These panels are available in six countries and we’re working to roll them out in additional markets. In addition to headlines, you’ll now see the original claim made along with the fact-checked assessment from independent organisations,” said Google.

YouTube recently launched Hit Pause, a media literacy initiative to help viewers spot and evaluate misinformation.

Since 2018, the Google News Initiative has invested nearly $75 million in projects and partnerships working to strengthen media literacy and combat misinformation around the world.

“We’re committed to continuing to support the journalists and fact-checking organisations on the front lines of the fight against misinformation,” said the tech giant.

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