• Daniyar Kylyzhov

Google launches anti-fake coronavirus vaccine grant program

Google has opened a fund to counter misinformation about COVID-19, from which it will pay grants to journalists and specialists for checking facts and combating false information about vaccines against coronavirus infection. The total amount of grants under the program launched by the Google News Initiative will be up to $ 3 million, according to the company's website.

The goal of the new program is to reach as large an audience as possible that may be susceptible to misinformation, Alexios Mantsarlis, head of news and information reliability at Google News Lab, said in a blog. News outlets that regularly expose fakes and check facts about coronavirus vaccines are eligible for such grants, he said.

The company will provide up to $ 1 million in funding for each project, with which journalists and specialists can cover up to 80% of the total costs. Google will feature a 12-person jury that will review applications and select grant recipients. They can be claimed by news organizations of all sizes that already have proven experience in fact-checking and exposing false information, as well as partners of such organizations. In addition, organizations must be ready to launch their projects as soon as possible - no later than April 15, 2021, while they must be fully implemented within a year from the date of receipt of funding.

Applications are accepted in both print and digital form until January 31st. Google noted that news organizations applying for grants must indicate in their applications that they are recognized by third parties as verified fact-checkers - the most visible evidence of this may be the organization's membership in the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN).

The company admits that $ 3 million will not be enough to get rid of false information about coronavirus vaccines on the Internet. Therefore, Google promises that the project is primarily aimed at the maximum possible reach of an audience that does not check the facts and is subject to disinformation.




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