YouTube Creates $100 Million Fund for Black Creators, Artists

CEO Susan Wojcicki pledged to examine how its policies on hate, harassment affect the community

YouTube removed more than 100,000 videos and 100 million comments in Q1 for hate or harassment TARIK KIZILKAYA/iStock

YouTube created a multiyear $100 million fund to go toward amplifying and developing the voices of Black creators and artists.

CEO Susan Wojcicki revealed the news in her latest update on YouTube’s priorities for creators and users.

She provided an example of the type of content the new fund is aimed at elevating: YouTube is hosting a livestreamed fundraising event Saturday (June 13), Bear Witness, Take Action, produced by YouTube Originals and featuring creators, artists, public figures and activists in roundtable discussions and musical performances.

Donations will benefit the Equal Justice Initiative.

Wojcicki added that YouTube’s Spotlight channel will feature content on racial justice issues throughout June, including the latest perspectives from the Black community, historical content, educational videos and coverage of the ongoing protests.

She shifted gears to the issues of hate and harassment, saying that YouTube removed more than 100,000 videos and 100 million comments for those reasons during the first quarter of 2020 alone.

Wojcicki said YouTube is examining how its policies work for everyone, specifically the Black community, with the goal of ensuring that Black users, artists and creators can share their stories without being exposed to hateful, white supremacist and bullying content.

She wrote, “I’m committed to listening to Black employees at YouTube, to Black creators, to Black artists, to leaders in the Black community and to Black users who tune in to YouTube every day. There is much work to do to advance racial equity in the long-term, and these efforts will continue in the months and years ahead.”

Wojcicki concluded, “Over the past few weeks, we’ve grieved together as the Black community has endured more senseless acts of racial terror and violence. We know that for many, tragedies like these are a persistent reminder of the harm caused by systemic racism. They also compound the toll of the pandemic, which disproportionately impacted Black and Brown communities in the U.S. and abroad. At YouTube, we believe Black lives matter, and we all need to do more to dismantle systemic racism. We join in protest against the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others before them.” David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.