YouTube is looking for some upbeat PR — pushing the idea that the Google-owned global video platform can be a force for social good, after suffering an advertiser backlash in 2017 over objectionable content that was being monetized.
In 2018, YouTube said it will invest $5 million in its Creators for Change program, including production and marketing support. The program, which launched in September 2016, is aimed at boosting the profile of YouTubers whose videos “counter hate and promote tolerance.”
Since launching Creators for Change, YouTube has teamed with 39 creators from around the world who have released dozens of videos encouraging empathy and understanding. This year, YouTube plans to engage more creators in the program as well as develop new tools and guidance for empowering the broader community.
“Video is a powerful medium to open minds to new perspectives and shared experiences,” Juniper Downs, YouTube’s head of public policy, wrote in a blog post. “Creators prove that to us every single day. And we think Creators for Change in 2018 will reach and inspire even bigger audiences.”
Over the next several months, according to Downs, YouTube will announce the recipients of the production grants through the renewed investment. More info on the program is available at youtube.com/yt/creators-for-change.
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On Wednesday, YouTube is hosting the Creators for Change Summit in London with several hundred creators in attendance.
Those include Dina Tokio (pictured above), a British beauty vlogger who uses her interview series “#YourAverageMuslim” to challenge perceptions about Muslim women; L-Fresh the Lion, an Australian rapper of Sikh descent, who created a two-part track to challenge racism; and Rosianna Rojas who in partnership with the United Nations Refugee Agency traveled to a remote area of Colombia to document stories about refugees.
Last year, hundreds of advertisers froze spending on YouTube after spots were discovered running in front of objectionable content. That included terrorism and hate videos, as well as videos with young children targeted by pedophiles.
YouTube has taken a series of steps to curb violent and disturbing videos — and to reduce the chance that any ads will run against outré content. Most recently, last week YouTube announced a stricter set of criteria for creators who are eligible to participate in its revenue-sharing program and said it will start manually reviewing all videos in its Google Preferred premium ad program.