YouTube to invest $5 million in creators who ‘encourage empathy and understanding’

YouTube Creators for Change program

YouTube has announced an additional $5 million investment into its Creators for Change program, a collection of 39 YouTubers from around the world that discuss and promote important everyday issues.

Members of the Creators for Change program, which launched in September 2016, work on “impact projects” focused on issues like Islamophobia, homophobia, bullying and more.

YouTube says the money will go towards the “production and marketing support” of such projects.

“We will engage more creators in the program, arm the wider YouTube community with new tools and education on how to create change, and empower more young people to use their voices to encourage positive social messages,” wrote head of YouTube public policy Juniper Downs in a blog post.

YouTube says it will announce the global recipients of the Creators for Change production grants “in the coming months.”

In the past, YouTube has been criticized for being a platform for the spread of hate speech and propaganda, leading the European Union to approve a set of proposals that compel companies like YouTube to block videos with such content.

The decision to further support creators with a positive influence is certainly a good look for YouTube as of late. Earlier this month, the company came under fire for its handling of the controversy surrounding content creator Logan Paul.

On December 31st, Paul faced widespread criticism for publishing a video of a man who had committed suicide in Japan’s Aokigahara forest.

As a well-known YouTuber with over 15 million subscribers, Paul’s video quickly circulated around the internet, even after he eventually apologized and deleted it.

For over a week, YouTube didn’t issue a formal response, prompting many to blast the company for not taking action.

Eventually, YouTube removed Paul from its Google Preferred ad program and put his YouTube Red projects on hold. In a series of tweets, YouTube also acknowledged that it had “taken a long time to respond” to the issue, promising to do better going forward. YouTube later announced a series of major changes coming to its platform, including revised monetization and Google Preferred policies.

However, YouTube chief business officer Robert Kyncl wouldn’t rule out partnerships with Paul in the future, stating “the best thing we can do is put all projects on hold indefinitely, and there’s no date or plan for him in the future.”

Paul, meanwhile, recently published his first video in three weeks, going over his mistakes and talking about the important of suicide education and prevention with a number of experts.

Source: YouTube Blog