Google on Wednesday announced that it will be spending nearly $30 million in Europe to combat misinformation and fake news.
“Google is contributing €25 million to help launch the European Media and Information Fund to strengthen media literacy skills, fight misinformation and support fact checking,” Matt Brittin, the president of Google in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said in a blog post.
The money is coupled with a commitment over the next five years to work with the European University Institute, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the European Digital Media Observatory.
Google said it wants to commit money to groups that support media literacy skills for adults and children, support fact-checkers and work to fight misinformation.
“Our commitment today builds on our previous grants to fact checkers and nonprofits, including those related to the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines, and our work to tackle misinformation in the run up to other major events, such as elections,” Brittin wrote.
The company is the first to contribute to the European Media and Information Fund and will also support other organizations aimed at increasing media literacy for young people.
The announcement comes as Google and other big social media platforms have faced heavy criticism and scrutiny for being a breeding ground for misinformation.
Lawmakers grilled Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark ZuckerbergHillicon Valley — States probe the tech giants Executives personally signed off on Facebook-Google ad collusion plot, states claim States push forward with Facebook antitrust case, reportedly probe VR unit MORE and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in a House hearing last week focused on the use of social media in the buildup to the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.
Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) accused the platforms of “actively amplifying and spreading” disinformation during his opening remarks.