Human Rights Channel Now On YouTube

As YouTube has become a hub for activism and social justice ranging from videos from the Arab Spring to inspiration speeches designed to remind people that “it gets better,” the company has taken the next step in forming a dedicated channel on that subject.

The new Human Rights channel on YouTube is a partnership with the non-profit organization WITNESS and social newsgathering outfit Storyful. Why would YouTube, which has largely been more known to host viral videos that are more entertainment than inspiring, have interest in human rights?

In its blog post today, YouTube said, “In the case of human rights, video plays a particularly important role in illuminating what occurs when governments and individuals in power abuse their positions.”

Consequently, the channel is “dedicated to curating hours of raw citizen-video documenting human rights stories that are uploaded daily and distributing that to audiences hungry to learn and take action. The channel, which will also feature content from a slate of human rights organizations already sharing their work on YouTube, aims to shed light on and contextualize under-reported stories, to record otherwise undocumented abuses, and to amplify previously unheard voices.”

From first glance, the actual number of uploaded videos consists of title cards, but if you look at its “featured stories,” it has coverage of ongoing efforts in Bahrain, Syria and the Occupy movement.

Whether this dedicated YouTube channel will become the next hub for activism and human rights issues is unclear given the independent nature of this subject. However, YouTube added that it has high hopes in reaching an enlightened audience with its new channel.

“We hope this project can not only be a catalyst to awareness, but offer people new avenues for action and impact,” the blog post read. “The channel is committed to providing new citizen creators as well as viewers with the tools and information necessary so that every citizen can become a more effective human rights defender.”

[Source: YouTube blog]