YouTube on Thursday announced a multi-year $100 million fund dedicated to developing stories from Black creators and artists.
“At YouTube, we believe Black lives matter and we all need to do more to dismantle systemic racism,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote in a post. “We join in protest against the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others before them.”
The first example of the type of content YouTube is looking to highlight will premiere Saturday when Google’s video platform hosts a live-stream fund-raising event produced by YouTube Originals (YTO), “Bear Witness, Take Action.”
One hundred million seems to be the number, as Apple CEO Tim Cook also said in a video posted to Twitter on Thursday the company will increase spending with black-owned partners in its supply chain and increase minority representation. The announcement included a $100 million racial equity and justice initiative.
YouTube’s event brings together creators, artists, influential public figures and prominent activist voices for roundtable discussions and musical performances, with donations benefiting the Equal Justice Initiative.
Through the month of June, YouTube’s Spotlight channel will highlight racial justice issues, including the latest perspectives from the Black community on YouTube alongside historical content, educational videos, and protest coverage. This content showcases important stories about the centuries-long fight for equity.
Wojcicki wrote that YouTube has taken extensive steps during the years to help protect diversity and communities from hate and harassment. In 2019, the company developed more stringent policies against hate speech and harassment.
The updated hate-speech policy specifically bans videos alleging that a group is superior based on race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion.
As a result of these changes and our ongoing enforcement, last quarter alone YouTube removed more than 100,000 videos and 100 million comments for hate and harassment.
Despite all this work, YouTube says, there is more to do. The platform plans to examine how its policies and products are working for everyone, but specifically for the Black community, with a purpose to close any gaps.