Google launches information panel to combat misinformation about COVID vaccine

Google announced Thursday that it is rolling out a new dashboard in Search to counter misinformation about coronavirus vaccines. The search engine said in a blog post that the UK will be the first country to get the feature because it has already released the Pfizer vaccine for COVID in the country. Other countries will get Google’s new feature as soon as they start approving coronavirus vaccines.

In an attempt to combat misinformation about covid vaccines, Google aims to spread correct information about the vaccine by partnering with health authorities.

“Starting in the UK, we are launching a new feature in search, so that when people search for information on COVID-19 vaccines, we will display a list of vaccines licensed in their location, as well as information panels on each individual vaccine. . As other health authorities begin to authorize vaccines, we will introduce this new feature in more countries, ”said Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, Google Health director of health in a blog.

Google had launched similar information panels on its music platform, YouTube, in March. On its blog, the search giant revealed that the dashboards were viewed 400 million times. The panels are visible on the YouTube home page and even in some of the videos.

“Launched in March, our YouTube COVID-19 dashboards have been viewed 400 billion times, making them an important source of credible information. These panels appear on the YouTube home page and in pandemic videos and search results. Dashboard updates will connect people directly to vaccine information from local and global health authorities. Because YouTube creators are a trusted voice within their communities, we also support creators by connecting them with leading health experts to create useful and engaging content for their audiences on COVID-19 and vaccines, ”reads the Blog.

Google said that when the pandemic was first noticed, it had donated $ 250 million in Ad Grants to help more than 100 government agencies around the world deliver critical public service announcements about COVID-19. It has also partnered with fact-checking groups to counter misinformation on its platform.

The search giant revealed that it had removed more than 700,000 videos misleading people about COVID-19 and spreading false information about the disease. “We also continue to remove harmful COVID-19 misinformation from other products like Ads, Google Maps, and the Play Store,” Google said.