Google: Fighting the Fake News Fight. Err. Where Is YouTube in This Altercation?

April 6, 2021

I read a short item with the snappy title “Google to Contribute $29 Million to New EU Fund to Fight Fake News.” The hook is a big number for a mom-and-pop, online ad outfit, $29 million.

Where is the money going? The write up says:

The European Media and Information Fund, launched by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the European University Institute last week, aims to enlist researchers, fact-checkers, not-for-profits and other public interest-oriented bodies to help in the fight against fake news….The fund has a duration of five years. The European Digital Media Observatory, which is a European Commission project set up last year and whose members include fact checkers and academic researchers, will evaluate and select the projects.

Will YouTube become a focal point? My thought is that YouTube is not news, certainly not news in the sense of the Facebook- or Twitter-type of service. Should YouTube become a focal point? That’s a different question. What about informational ads which surf on a timely topic? Are those advertisements news? Obviously an advertisement cannot be news generated by an objective entity like Forbes Magazine. Wait. Hold that statement. Forbes, the capitalist’s tool, does run pay-to-play essays.

Without a definition of news, how can one determine what’s accurate, what’s fake, and what’s just business? Perhaps that is why the mom-and-pop online ad service is contributing a PR worthy sum to an European effort.

Is there any correlation to the EU’s legal probe of Google?

That’s a hard question just like, “Is YouTube a deliverer of fake news?”

Stephen E Arnold, April 6, 2021


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