Alphabet unit Google will contribute $25 million to the newly set up European Media and Information Fund in a bid to fight fake news, the company said on Wednesday, amid criticism tech giants are not doing enough to expose the falseness of online disinformation.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the U.S. election last year sparked a massive surge in misinformation, with some blaming social media for not being more proactive in addressing the issue while regulators have said they may take action via tough restrictions.
The European Media and Information Fund, launched by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the European University Institute last week, aims to enlist fact-checkers, researchers, not-for-profits and other public interest-oriented bodies to help in the fight against fake news.
“While navigating the uncertainty and challenges of the last year, it has proven more important than ever for people to access accurate information, and sort facts from fiction,” Matt Brittin, head of Google’s EMEA Business & Operations, said in a blog post.
The fund has a duration of 5 years. The European Digital Media Observatory, which is a European Commission project set up last year and whose members include academic researchers and fact checkers, will evaluate and select the projects.