YouTube recently announced their plans to invest $5 million to “counter hate and promote tolerance” on their platform.
The Verge reports that YouTube has announced their plans to invest $5 million in their Creators for Change program as the company attempts to “counter hate and promote tolerance.” The Creators for Change program was launched in 2016 and is comprised of 39 YouTubers who discuss “social issues” and focus on “promoting awareness, tolerance and empathy on their YouTube channels.” The YouTubers work on “impact projects” that aim to raise awareness about issues such as bullying, xenophobia, and racism. The new investment from YouTube will be in the form of “production and marketing support,” but production grants will also be awarded to certain creators.
YouTube hopes to recruit more YouTube stars for the Creators for Change program in 2018. The sudden donation to the program from YouTube comes just a few months after some members of the program stated that it was “disheartening” to see controversial YouTube stars like Logan and Jake Paul receiving large payments and huge amounts of views for their content. YouTuber Sam Saffold told Polygon in September “It’s our duty to not promote just the negative, but the positive… There are so many positive YouTubers who don’t get the attention they deserve.”
YouTube stated that Creators for Change production grants will be distributed “in the coming months.” This sudden donation may also be part of YouTube’s attempt to provide some positive PR for their brand after they came under fire recently for a video uploaded by one of their biggest stars, Logan Paul. In the video, Paul filmed the dead body of a suicide victim in the infamous Japanese “suicide forest.” The video was featured on YouTube’s trending section and received 6 million views before Paul himself deleted the video after intense backlash. It was revealed shortly after the video’s deletion that it had been reported multiple times and reviewed by YouTube’s Trusted Flagger team which still approved the video for publishing on their platform.
In 2017 YouTube attempted to crack down on extremist content on their platform, promising to take a “tougher stance on videos that do not clearly violate our policies — for example, videos that contain inflammatory religious or supremacist content.” YouTube stated that these videos would “appear behind a warning” and will not be “monetized, recommended or eligible for comments or user endorsements.”