YouTube creating $100M fund ‘dedicated to amplifying and developing the voices of Black creators’

YouTube will create a $100 million fund “dedicated to amplifying and developing the voices of Black creators and artists and their stories,” the CEO announced Thursday.

CEO Susan Wojcicki committed to the multi-year fund in her mid-year update to “center and amplify Black voices and perspectives” on the video platform. 

“We have always been proud that we are a platform that celebrates a broad and diverse set of voices,” she wrote. “And we have implemented many policies and product features to protect our communities.

“But we recognize we need to do more, in particular with the Black community, and that is why we are committing to following actions,” she added.

Wojcicki cited the upcoming live stream fundraising event “Bear Witness, Take Action” as an example of content YouTube wishes to further promote. The event produced by YouTube Originals will feature creators, artists, public figures and activists for discussions and musical performances on Saturday, with the donations going to the Equal Justice Initiative.

The platform’s Spotlight channel will focus on racial justice issues through the rest of the month, including perspectives from black community members, historical content, educational videos and protest coverage, she said.

The CEO also vowed to do more to protect diverse communities from hate and harassment, saying the company will review how its policies work for everyone but especially the black community and “close any gaps.”

“More broadly, we will work to ensure Black users, artists, and creators can share their stories and be protected from hateful, white supremacist, and bullying content,” she said.

Wojcicki said last quarter the platform removed more than 100,000 videos and 100 million comments for violating its hate speech and harassment policies that were updated last year. 

The 2019 ban prohibits videos that argue that a group is superior to another based on race, gender, religion or sexual orientation as a way to “justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion.”

The mid-year update also discussed the update to policies to elevate trusted information on coronavirus and prevent content with harmful medical misinformation from spreading. YouTube has removed more than 200,000 videos for violating those policies, she said.

YouTube’s announcement comes as several corporations are reviewing their policies to be more racially sensitive in the wake of George Floyd’s death and protests over police treatment of minority populations. 

Tags Black communities George Floyd George Floyd death George Floyd protests Harassment Hate speech YouTube YouTube

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