An alarming press release was circulated this week. It's time. At the European level, it will be filtered which information you may and may not consume. Once an innovative company of free-thinkers and problem solvers, Google is now becoming the funder and guardian of the Ministry of Truth.
BRUSSELS (ANP / RTR) - Alphabet subsidiary Google will contribute $ 25 million to the recently established European Media and Information Fund to combat fake news. The company's move comes as criticism swells that tech giants aren't doing enough to debunk online disinformation.
The corona crisis and last year's US elections have led to a massive increase in disinformation, with many accusations towards social media for not tackling the issues proactively enough. Regulators have indicated that they may take action through strict restrictions.
The European Media and Information Fund, set up last week, aims to help researchers, fact-checkers, non-profit organizations and other public interest agencies fight fake news.
“As they navigate the uncertainty and challenges of the past year, it has proven more important than ever for people to access accurate information and separate fact from fiction,” Google said in a blog post.
The fund has one duration of five years. The European Digital Media Observatory, a project of the European Commission set up last year, which includes fact checkers and academic researchers, will evaluate and select the projects.