Google gives Belgian organisations over €1 million to fight online hate
Tuesday, 04 February 2020
Two Belgian organisations are among 29 European projects supported by the company. Credit: Pxhere
Two organisations based in Belgium, ERGO Network and Mobile School, received over €1 million from Google to fight against the spread of online hate.
At a congress on online safety in Brussels, Matt Brittin, Google’s President of Business and Operations in Europe, presented the projects. Google itself has an important responsibility to keep harmful and illegal content from its platforms, he said, but the company cannot do that on its own, reports Het Nieuwsblad.
Last year, it launched a call for organisations working to combat hatred, extremism or online safety for children. Over 800 organisations applied, according to Brittin. Through its philanthropy branch Google.org, the company raised €10 million in support of the 29 selected companies from 14 countries, reports Het Laatste Nieuws.
In Belgium, ERGO Network received €625,000 to tackle hate rhetoric about the Roma population in different countries. 40 young people from the Roma community will be trained to raise awareness, and efforts will be made to better monitor the problem. The organisation has no running projects in Belgium, but is active in Brussels to lobby the European institutions.
The nonprofit Mobile School received €490,000 to develop digital tools, named ‘Streetsmart’. The organisation tries to prevent young people worldwide from falling into the hands of gangs or extremists by setting up educational programmes on the streets.
With the tools of Streetsmart, the organisation wants to support outreach workers. With Google’s money, the organization hopes to reach 500 youth workers in the next two years, in order to expand the project even further.