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Google News Initiative Commits US$3 Million To Fight Vaccine Mis-information

With the world still taken aback and grappling with the effects global pandemic called COVID-19, there has been a great concern of misinformation that has been peddled online and various media outlets about the virus and the vaccine.
On Tuesday, 12 January, the Google News Initiative announced the launch of a global fund to try and combat misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, and this initiative is worth up to $3 million. This comes as many countries around the world have embarked on a process of immunisation of their citizens.

The "COVID-19 Vaccine Counter Misinformation Open Fund" will give provision and fund journalistic efforts to fact-check misinformation about the COVID-19 immunisation process effectively, the initiative belonging to Alphabet's 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. "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 make provision for projects looking to expand the audience of fact-checks, particularly to vulnerable groups and those that have hit most by misinformation. The fund's submissions will be assessed by 14 jurors from across the academic, media, medical and non-profit sectors, and representatives from the World Health Organisation.

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