YouTube & Videos for Social Good

Last week, YouTube announced its plan to expand its Creators for Change program, an initiative that appoints socially-conscious YouTube influencers as program Ambassadors to combat hate speech, xenophobia, and extremism (Weiss 2017). This program started from last September with 11 YouTubers, and last week YouTube announced 27 more. These YouTubers will receive mentorship, equipment and production grants to facilitate their socially-conscious videos.

YouTube has become one of the most diverse communities promoting social good and raising awareness. In 2016, there was boycott and criticism to Oscar as #OscarSoWhite, while at the same year, Streamy Award was celebrated as #SteamySoDiverse. For instance, Asian Americans, which received little exposure and few opportunities in Hollywood, have become a vibrant community on YouTube, including Comedians such as Fung Brothers, Ryan Higa, Musicians as Sam Tsui, David Choi, Beauty Vlogger Michele Phan, and creators like Freddie Wong.

Another group is LGBT content creators, who have received huge visibility on YouTube. For instance, Gigi Gorgeous recently has her first documentary streaming on YouTube Red, which recorded her transition from male to female, and her coming-out stories as a gay, transgender and lesbian. Another icon is Tyler Oakley, with almost 8 million subscribers and an estimated net worth of 8 million. They have succeeded in monetization, and they’re also instrumental in speaking out on behalf of pro-LGBT policies and advocating for LGBT rights (Jenkins, 2016).

YouTube has increasingly focused on doing social good, and it can become powerful in speaking to an audience with huge concerns in this turbulent and vulnerable political environment. For brands aiming to raise social awareness and address social responsibility, it is time to put more efforts on the digital YouTube space instead of traditional media outlets.

 

 

Reference:

Weiss, G. (April 20, 2017). YouTube reveals first fleet of 27 “Creators for Change” fellows. Tubefilter. Retrieved from

http://www.tubefilter.com/2017/04/20/youtube-27-creators-for-change-fellows/

Jenkins, H. (April 21, 2016). Multichannel Networks and the New Screen Ecology: An Interview with Stuart Cunningham and David Craig. Retrieved from http://henryjenkins.org/2016/04/multichannel-networks-and-the-new-screen-ecology-an-interview-with-stuart-cunningham-and-david-craig-part-one.html

 

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4 Responses to YouTube & Videos for Social Good

  1. forbess says:

    There is no denying that a media platform can provide inclusiveness and promote change in how audiences view their world, whether it is seeing through the glamor of the Oscars or watching a documentary created by us–the content creators. That being said, I still find it hard to ignore how so much effort and labor is being put into this content, and how it allows YouTube to further perpetuate a network effect in production and viewership. The more you produce, the more watch, the more you are producing and watching the different perspectives of social change on YouTube.

    I am not discrediting the authenticity that is being developed from the content creators, but I am questioning how YouTube, or any platform for the matter, positions itself in being the supporter of social change just as long as their URL and tools are being used. Even if the content creator decides to share it on Facebook, its presence is only possible because of YouTube. It is good for the brand but having the content creators’ worldview locked-in by a brand image can be risky, especially for a media platform that also invites other content creators to show a worldview that may conflict with #ProudtoLove.

  2. mengjunw says:

    Youtube is a great platform for creative people to show their talents over the world. However, I am not sure whether it is the best place to express your stands on specific topics, especially when the topics are formal and serious. But I agreed that if you plan to say something and do something on behalf of yourself or your brands, it is better to start Youtube post now. The market and the audience will give you real feedbacks on your content which can help you in the development of your video ideas.

  3. pfistere says:

    I personally think it’s great that YouTube has initiated the expansion of this program. Hopefully it will help facilitate a community of acceptance, in which participants can not only spread awareness but also feel supported and in community. Given YouTube’s primary audience of Gen Z, it seems this will be well-received. However, I do agree that backlash might be a concern, as there are varying markets across the platform. Still, this is a pervasive challenge across social media. Overall, this initiative seems like an exciting way to challenge social norms. In addition, I could see brands getting involved and sponsoring content that aligns with their vision as well.

  4. ruoqihao says:

    I maybe go too far from this topic, but I think YouTube did a great job in surviving in such a competitive new media world. YouTube is unique in many ways, when homogenization happens, YouTube will evolve and develop new features to once again survive. It seems that YouTube has a clear mind about its future and YouTube is keeping exploring. The topic mentioned in this blog, how YouTube doing its job for social good, may also be considered as a marketing strategy to survive.