YouTube announced this week that it is going to invest 5 million dollars to fund artists who “oppose hate and promote tolerance,” after facing continued political pressure to deal with extremist content that is published on its platform. The money which will cover production and marketing, will be given to the Creators for Change program, a collective of more than 100 YouTubers created “to encourage empathy and understanding around the world.”
The program encourages and educates creators for the positive use of the platform for social change. This year, the company will “include more creators in the program, provide its online community with new tools and training, and enable more young people to use their voices to encourage positive social messages”. Some of the themes those videos address are police violence, intimidation, xenophobia and racism.
In the past, YouTube has been criticized for videos that include hate speech and terrorist propaganda. Last summer, the European Union adopted a set of proposals that will require companies such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to block hate speech-based videos hosted on their platform. The online channel also received strong criticism last December, when, Logan Paul, one of its members who has more than 16 million subscribers, filmed a suicide victim in the Aokigahara forest in Japan.
According to a recent announcement, YouTube will check videos before placing them in its Google Preferred Advertising Program. “Ads will only be shown on videos that have been verified to meet ad-friendly guidelines,” the company said.
It is worth noting, however, that some of the most controversial videos that YouTube hosts are the most popular.