Media & Telecom

Google launches $3 mln fund to fight vaccine misinformation

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A Google sign is pictured on a Google building in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., October 20, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

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Jan 12 (Reuters) - The Google News Initiative on Tuesday launched a global open fund to fight misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, worth up to $3 million.

The "COVID-19 Vaccine Counter Misinformation Open Fund" aims to support journalistic efforts to effectively fact-check misinformation about the COVID-19 immunisation process, the initiative belonging to Alphabet's (GOOGL.O) Google said in a blog post.

"While the COVID-19 infodemic has been global in nature, misinformation has also been used to target specific populations," it added.

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"Some of the available research also suggests that the audiences coming across misinformation and those seeking fact checks don't necessarily overlap."

The fund will accept projects looking to expand the audience of fact-checks, particularly to groups disproportionately hit by misinformation.

Applications will be reviewed by team of 14 jurors from across the academic, media, medical and non-profit sectors, as well as representatives from the World Health Organisation.

In December, the Google News Initiative pledged $1.5 million to fund a COVID-19 vaccine media hub to support fact-checking research.

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Reporting by Sarah Morland in Gdansk; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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