Google, Fresh Out Of Congressional Hotseat, Hands $29 Million To EU’s New Fund To Tackle Fake News


Google will contribute €25 million ($29 million) to the European Union’s newly established European Media and Information Fund to tackle misinformation and fake news, the company announced Wednesday, as big tech companies face criticism and mounting scrutiny for failing to curb the spread of misinformation online.

Key Facts

Announcing the contribution in a blog post, Google said the funding commitment is for five years and will support the work of the European University Institute, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the European Digital Media Observatory.

Google is the first company to contribute to the fund. 

The company, however, will not be involved in any decision-making regarding the use of the fund.

Key Background

Last week, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the European University Institute announced the launch of the European Media and Information Fund, which will provide grants to researchers, fact-checkers, not-for-profits, and other public interest-oriented organizations working on disinformation research and strengthening media literacy and fact-checking. The European Digital Media Observatory, a body made up of fact-checkers and academics that was formed by the European Commission last year, will evaluate and select the projects. Online giants have faced major criticism in the past year, particularly from lawmakers, for failing to tackle large volumes of misinformation on their platforms that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. YouTube, Google’s video-sharing platform, has come under focus several times in the past 12 months for failing to adequately moderate misinformation about Covid-19.  Wednesday’s funding is not the first instance of Google offering funds to fight against misinformation. In January, Google promised to devote up to $3 million to back fact-checking initiatives to counter vaccine misinformation. The company has also rolled out vaccine information panels in its search results as an attempt to counter anti-vaccine misinformation.


Last week, the CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter were grilled by U.S. lawmakers in a Congressional hearing focused on disinformation and extremism online. Democratic lawmakers lashed out at the companies for failing to tackle misinformation about Covid-19, especially posts that cast doubts about vaccines. Republicans, as they have done in previous hearings, accused the companies of “censoring” conservative views and voices.

Further Reading

Google to contribute $29 million to new EU fund to fight fake news (Reuters)

Zuckerberg Deflects Blame For Capitol Attack At Congressional Disinformation Hearing (Forbes)

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