Alphabet Inc’s Google has said on April 3 that it would invest $6.5 million to fund the fact-checkers as well as the non-profit organisations to combat misinformation that has spiked amid the unprecedented outbreak of deadly COVID-19 outbreak. As the global death toll of the pandemic has crossed 53,000 and over one million are infected, Google has decided to combat false information. Even the health authorities have warned that over-saturation of information during the time of outbreak would make it difficult for people to obtain the required assistance.
Google’s official statement said, “Collaboration is a crucial component of journalism’s response to a story as complicated and all-encompassing as COVID-19. For this reason, the Google News Initiative (GNI) is stepping up its support for First Draft.”
On #InternationalFactCheckingDay, we're committing $6.5M to help fight #COVID19 misinformation around the world. This funding will be used to support fact-checkers and nonprofits, increase their access to information, and more. →https://t.co/SPi4CginCy— Google News Initiative (@GoogleNewsInit) April 2, 2020
Meanwhile, in another effort to contribute to the world’s fight against the outbreak, Google is now planning to lift the ban of advertisements related to COVID-19 on its platforms. According to international reports, Alphabet Inc’s Google will allow some of its clients to run ads by changing its limitation policy around “sensitive events” which it now plans on extending to political organisations.
The new policy was laid out in a memo to its advertising clients on April 2 and was seen by international news agency which said that Google will start allowing government organisations, hospitals as well as other medical providers to run ads from this week. It also reportedly said that the entire plan for online ads from political organisations would be announced to the public in the upcoming days.
Google head of industry for elections, Mark Beatty reportedly said in the memo first reported by Axios that the company currently prohibits ads on the ongoing pandemic of coronavirus outbreak under Google’s policy of “Sensitive Events”. This policy is reportedly designed to shield the users uring crisis by blocking the ads that have the potential to capitalise on events similar to natural disasters. However, the COVID-19 outbreak according to Beatty is an “ongoing and important part” of day-to-day conversations and lives of the people including topics like political discourse for man advertisers in various sectors.
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