Google, YouTube pour millions into left-leaning nonprofit for new ‘Global Fact Check Fund’

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Google and YouTube are pouring millions into over 100 fact-checking organizations as part of a new Global Fact Check Fund aimed at stomping out misinformation online. 

On Tuesday, Google and YouTube announced a $13.2 million grant to the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) at the left-leaning nonprofit Poynter Institute. 

The IFCN previously labeled YouTube as one of the “major conduits” of disinformation and misinformation across the world. In an open letter, the IFCN proposed a partnership with YouTube to curb the issue. 

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Google, YouTube pour millions into left-leaning nonprofit for new 'Global Fact Check Fund'

Google logo.
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

The new Global Fact Check Fund is expected to support its network of 135 fact-checking organizations across 65 countries, covering 80 languages. It is the largest grant Google and YouTube have ever shelled out regarding fact-checks. 

The fund is expected to open early next year alongside a YouTube training series for fact-checking organizations that want to learn more about “content strategy and engagement” on the platform. 

“Helping people to identify misinformation is a global challenge. The Global Fact Check Fund will help fact-checkers to scale existing operations or launch new ones that elevate information, uplift credible sources and reduce the harm of mis- and disinformation around the globe,” Google said in Tuesday’s press release.

Google also noted that fact-checking organizations can use their new funding in a variety of ways, including new technologies, the creation or expansion of their digital footprints, new verification tools, and deeper audience engagement through audio, or podcast formats. 

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Google, YouTube pour millions into left-leaning nonprofit for new 'Global Fact Check Fund'

This March 20, 2018 file photo shows the YouTube app on an iPad in Baltimore, Maryland.
((AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File))

On the day of the announcement, Google, YouTube, the European University Institute, and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation convened European policymakers, media organizations, tech companies and NGOs to share knowledge on tackling misinformation.

Since 2018, the Google News Initiative has invested nearly $75 million to “strengthen media literacy” and “combat misinformation.”

The Poynter Institute, a nonprofit school for journalists, is the parent company of PolitiFact, which claims it is a “nonpartisan fact-checking website.” 

Last May, PolitiFact hosted a virtual festival, “United Facts of America: A Festival of Fact-Checking,” which was billed as a “celebration of fact-checking featuring some of the most important voices in media, health care, politics and technology.” The event largely consisted of left-leaning voices, including former CNN host Brian Stelter, CNN Chief International Anchor Christiane Amanpour, MSNBC contributor Charlie Sykes, and Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner. Dr. Anthony Fauci was also featured. 

During the event, PolitiFact editor-in-chief Angie Holan saluted billionaire Democratic donor Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist and major provider of financial support for the “neutral” fact-checking website. Newmark supported President Biden’s 2020 election campaign and has backed a host of other Democratic candidates and causes over the years. 

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Google, YouTube pour millions into left-leaning nonprofit for new 'Global Fact Check Fund'

In November, Craig Newmark Philanthropies gave over $3 million to the Aspen Institute to set up the Commission on Information Disorder, a board that helps users discern “fact from falsehood” and “the trustworthy from the fringe.” A report from the commission focused on “information disorder” was co-authored by left-leaning journalist Katie Couric.

Several members of the Aspen Institute spoke at the summit in Brussels on misinformation, including Yasmin Green, the CEO of Jigsaw, a unit within Google that “explores threats to open societies.”

The team researches and develops “technical solutions” to “violent extremism,” “repressive censorship” and “hate and harassment,” as well as “harmful misinformation.”

Jigsaw recently deployed a “series of prebunking s” as a tactic to “counter anti-refugee narratives” across Europe. 

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