Google is to invest $1m (£766,000) into funding grants and production resources to assist YouTubers encourage tolerance and address social issues.
The money made available to the YouTube Creators for Change programme will be divided up in grants to “ambassadors”, who will also be given access to YouTube studios and other production equipment.
The programme will kick off with six YouTubers from different countries, starting with UK-based comedian Humza Arshad who created Diary of a Badman, about being a young Muslim in Britain.
YouTube said it would unveil more ambassadors for the programme “soon” and those chosen will also be tasked with identifying other YouTubers who could contribute, with more money potentially made available.
In a blog post, YouTube head of policy Juniper Downs said that the video platform wanted to highlight the positive force it could have at a time when “the internet is criticised for fuelling division and distrust”.
“To support and amplify ambassadors and emerging creators alike, we are committing $1m in equipment and production grants as part of the Creators for Change program,” added Downs. “We’ll also welcome these creators at new programmes at YouTube Spaces throughout the year.”
YouTube chief executive Susan Wojcicki added: “Through Creators for Change, we are asking YouTube creators around the world to take on social issues like hate, extremism and xenophobia by promoting awareness, tolerance and empathy.
“We want to make sure that YouTube continues to be a platform where anyone can come to find connection and community, speak out on the issues they care about and have the freedom to belong.”
Alongside the grant, Google philanthropic arm Google.org, is creating a $2m charitable fund to support non-profit organisations working on “innovative solutions that promote inclusion and cross-cultural understanding”.
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