Google notes that similar COVID-19 information boards have been viewed 400 billion times on YouTube. In October, YouTube banned disinformation about the pandemic that contradicts information from the World Health Organization (WHO) or local health authorities. This follows a similar move from Facebook, which said in August this year that it had removed 7 million posts for coronavirus disinformation.
Now, the Google News Initiative is providing an additional $ 1.5 million to fund the creation of a COVID-19 Vaccine Media Hub and support new evidence-based research.
Earlier this year, Google donated $ 6.5 million to fund COVID-19 fact-checking initiatives for journalists. From now on, Google News will provide a $ 1.5 million to finance a COVID-19 vaccine Media hub run by the Australian Science Media Center, with support from media centers and public health experts around the world.
It also funds research by academics from Columbia, George Washington and Ohio State universities to counter vaccine misinformation. “This research project will survey citizens in ten countries to find out what types of formats, titles and sources are most effective in correcting misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine and whether the fact checks that follow these best practices are having an impact. on the desire to be vaccinated. “
Google has often been accused of disseminating false news, and COVID-19 has been called “The perfect storm for spreading false rumors and fake news.” So far, however, Google has been very proactive by cleaning up pandemic misinformation from research and YouTube. He seems to be keeping this posture with the arrival of vaccines – which have their own sad legacy around disinformation and conspiracy theories.