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Google announces $3m Covid-19 vaccine fund to combat fake news

Posted on: January 14, 2021 by Mariella Brown

A Covid-19 Vaccine Counter-Misinformation Fund has been launched by Google News Initiative aimed at reaching broader audiences with fact checks.

The global $3m fund is open to news organisations of any size, which have a proven track record in fact-checking and debunking activities or partner with an organisation with such recognition.

Google will fund selected projects up to $1m each with priority given to collaborative projects and aims to serve those who may disproportionately affected by misinformation.

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 technology platform for journalists and doctors to jointly source misinformation and publish fact checks, Google said when announcing the fund.

The launch of the fund follows an agreement made late last year between tech giants and the UK government to agree measures to tackle vaccine misinformation on platforms.

Alexios Mantzarlis, News and Information Credibility Lead at Google News Lab said: “The global rollout of COVID-19 vaccines is exacerbating a perennial problem of misinformation about immunization.”

“While the COVID-19 infodemic has been global in nature, misinformation has also been used to target specific populations. Some of the available research also suggests that the audiences coming across misinformation and those seeking fact checks don’t necessarily overlap,” he added

Applications are open until 31 January 2021.

Visit the Open Fund’s website to read more about eligibility criteria and find out how to apply.