Google and YouTube on Tuesday said they’re providing $13.2 million to a global network of fact-checkers “on the front lines of the fight against misinformation.”
The centerpiece of the investment is a $12 million Global Fact Check Fund to support the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), which encompasses 135 fact-checking organizations from 65 countries in over 80 languages. The Fund will open in early 2023.
Google and YouTube said this is by far their single largest grant for fact-checking.
“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 a blog post announcing the initiative.
The money, according to the IFCN, will primarily go toward 96 organizations that have adopted and are deemed in line with IFCN’s fact-checking principles. Among them are PolitiFact, Reuters, Snopes, and The Washington Post Fact Checker.
“The world needs fact-checking more than ever before. This partnership with Google and YouTube infuses financial support to global fact-checkers and is a step in the right direction,” said Baybars Örsek, executive director of the IFCN. “And while there’s much work to be done, this partnership has sparked meaningful collaboration and an important step.”
The IFCN is housed by Poynter Institute, a non-profit journalism school located in St. Petersburg, Florida. Describing itself as a “global leader in journalism” and a “thought leader,” Poynter receives funding from the libertarian-conservative Charles Koch Foundation, as well as from a dozens of progressive groups, including the Open Society Foundations founded and chaired by George Soros.
Poynter also houses PolitiFact, a well-known fact-checking outlet in the United States. A Pulitzer Prize winner that famously gave then-Illinois Senator Barack Obama’s “You Can Keep [Your Health Care Plan]” promise a “True” rating, PolitiFact has long faced criticism of engaging in biases in favor of the political left and against the political right.
According to a recent analysis by conservative media watchdog Media Research Center (MRC), Politifact appears to be “much more sensitive” about someone making false claims about Biden than it is about Biden making false claims.
The MRC analysis focused on the Democrat president’s first year in office, during which he was fact-checked by PolitiFact 40 times, while his critics were checked 230 times. The pattern was found to continue in the next eight months from Jan. 20 to Sept. 19, 2022, which saw 18 PolitiFact checks on Biden and 108 checks of Biden critics.
“Over his first 20 months in office, Biden had 58 fact-checks, while Biden critics were checked 338 times,” the MRC said. “Overall, there were 5.8 fact checks of Biden critics for every one of the president.”
On top of that, the MRC said Politifact is more likely to give a “Mostly False” or worse rating to Biden critics, while Biden’s erroneous claims, such as that the evacuation of the U.S. armed forces from Afghanistan was an “extraordinary success,” that the U.S. economy had “zero percent inflation” in July 2022, and that he served as a “full professor” at the University of Pennsylvania, received less harsh ratings.
Since 2017, Google has incorporated several fact-checking features into its search services, including labels that show alongside news search results to tell users whether it is considered to be true or false.
“For the first time, when you conduct a search on Google that returns an authoritative result containing fact checks for one or more public claims, you will see that information clearly on the search results page,” the search giant said at that time.
Copyright The Epoch Times – Reprinted with permission