Updated: Jun 18
YouTube has shared its goals to make the platform a much more 'inclusive space.' The leading video sharing platform has made the move of making their icon and banner black, with only the words 'Black Lives Matter' in their bio. This visually demonstrates how devoted and committed to the cause #YouTube is. Many other companies have passively supported the cause but not been so visibly supportive as YouTube. Other companies have acknowledged and, like YouTube, made visible strides to support the movement; with a number of websites going out of their way to try and support the progress that #BLM is trying to achieve. #Reddit in particular has shown strong support for the cause when the 'front of the internet' locked the website settings to dark mode, meaning that Redditors cannot set the site or app to light mode; therefore meaning that for the foreseeable future the website and app can be enjoyed exclusively in dark mode.
YouTube's Twitter Profile In Support Of The Powerful Black Lives Matter Movement
YouTube's Message To The Black Community
YouTube pinned a Tweet stating 'We hear you. We must do more to protect and amplify Black voices, and make YouTube a safer, more inclusive space. We are committed to doing better.' They then encouraged people to read the YouTube CEO's letter to the Black community. The video sharing platform also shared an attached image with the Pinned Tweet about steps they are taking to achieve this statement.
YouTube's Pinned Tweet And Prominent Message To The Black Community And Black Creators
'We hear you. We must do more to protect and amplify Black voices.' - YouTube in a company statement.
Saying these goals is all well and good, however real world actions need to be taken that are not just said in the heat of the moment and then not acted on thereafter. YouTube has referenced moves to achieve their #BlackLivesMatter inspired goals in their company statement. In the statement they informed the Black community that they have already implemented a number of changes to their Harassment Policies in 2019, with the changes provoked after Black creators receiving relentless hatred on their platform and with the final straw being the relentless harassment that #CarlosMaza of #Vox received from the far right-wing pundit Steven Crowder on YouTube in which Crowder made a video after video skitting at and ridiculing Maza's ethnicity, sexual orientation and voice. YouTube swiftly implemented changes that could lead to the demonetization of a channel or banning of a channel for hate-filled content, very much like the kind of content that Crowder produces. #StevenCrowder in response to these changes to the Harassment Policy tried to defend his content as 'comedic' in nature, which it clearly isn't, and that his #FreeSpeech rights were being attacked by YouTube who were #censoring his ability to verbally attack Maza in a 'comedic' manner.
YouTube said they are 'currently reexamining our platform to ensure that Black creators, artists and users can share their stories and not be subject to hateful, white supremacist and bullying content.' This is a positive mindset and a good start in desperately needed action that they then backed up by stating that 'Today we are establishing a $100 million content fund' and that the platform will be hosting a livestream fundraiser Bear Witness, Take Action.
The company acknowledge that whilst these moves are positive they are 'only small steps towards meaningful change' that still needs to take place in society. This is welcomed news and will hopefully inspire other companies to help bring noticable change now as meaningful statements are great, but without actions they are just empty promises that will not help the Black Lives Matter movement and only prove momentary PR stunts for companies that hope to capitalise on current affairs and the pain endured by the Black Community.