Google has pledged to donate $6.5 million to fact-checkers and nonprofits to fend off misinformation about coronavirus and more. The search giant blogged about its decision this week, citing the importance of factually correct information in a global health crisis. More directly, the company points to the crucial link between fact-checkers, nonprofits, and journalists.
Among the organizations set to benefit from the funding, pushed forward under the Google News Initiative, is the nonprofit First Draft. The organization serves as an online resource hub, with training and simulations for journalists covering coronavirus. But that organization's CrossCheck network won't be the only beneficiary.
In Brazil, Google is renewing support for Comprova, a collaborative verification project.
Immediate support is also being provided to Full Fact, Maldita.es, PolitiFact, Kaiser Health News, and LatamChequea. The first two beneficiaries are coordinating their efforts in Europe. Specifically, that's in hard-hit regions such as Italy, Spain, Germany, France, and the UK. LatamChequea provides a hub for the work of 21 different fact-checking organizations across 15 Spanish-speaking and Latin American countries.
Conversely, Politifact and Kaiser Health News will be able to expand health-related fact-checking partnerships with the aid of the funding.
Beyond those donations, Google is also funding several other journalistic resources. The company lists SciLine, the JSK Journalism Fellowships, and the International Fact-Checking Network. Each of those will be able to build out, maintain, and advance their respective database as well as support fact-checkers worldwide, in part with assistance from the search giant's funding.
Non-monetary donations are part of the latest efforts too
The latest organizational partnerships and fact-checking push from Google on coronavirus are part of a much larger bid from Google to halt the spread of misinformation and provide the best information possible. That also includes efforts to highlight fact-check articles as well as to track the spread of related misinformation.
To that end, Google isn't solely focusing its efforts around the need to donate to fact-checking organizations with a focus on coronavirus. Not only is the search giant's focus on COVID-19 mostly temporary — the company plans to continue addressing misinformation going forward. The company also hopes to support fact-checkers, reporters and health authorities in other ways. To begin with, it's pledged to make localized Google Trends data more widely available.
Google says its goal is to provide relevant persons with information about what information users still need. For instance, the company says users might want to know "what temperature kills coronavirus?" but may not have ready access to that information. By providing that detail to the appropriate health authorities or fact-checkers, those questions may eventually be answered for end-users.
Summarily, the bid centers around providing experts with a better idea of what information end-users need.
Additionally, the company is providing support to several organizations focused on training and informing journalists globally.
This stacks on top of a much larger coronavirus donation from Google
Now, the latest efforts from Google are not the only push the search giant has made since the global pandemic began. Not only is the company behind one of the largest relevant US resources, a web hub sponsored by the US government. The company has also been donating a substantial amount of money toward community-led efforts.
In late March, Google donated $800-million in funds and resources to communities around the globe to help deal with the crisis. That was meant to alleviate the effects of the ongoing pandemic in the private sector. It additionally supported organizations working toward the same goal. The company took that a step further still by incentivizing donations from its workforce.