YouTube has launched a Human Rights channel, with non-profit partner Witness and video playlist creator Storyful, the company announced Thursday. The channel will curate footage of human rights-related stories, uploaded by citizen users, shedding light on under-reported stories and, potentially, fueling activism.
Human rights organization Witness will be responsible for ensuring content is balanced and has adequate context. Storyful will source and verify all of the channel’s content.
“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,” a YouTube blog post says, pointing toward the Arab Spring.
According to YouTube, 100,000 videos were uploaded during the height of the revolution in Egypt, representing a 70% increase over the previous three months. And Egypt’s not the only example — we’ve seen YouTube content creation from protests in Syria, Russia and even Chicago.
Beyond protest footage, YouTube says the channel will highlight topics such as police brutality, discrimination, elder abuse, gender-based violence, socio-economic justice, access to resources and bullying. Videos will also be curated from non-profit organizations working in the human rights space.
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The channel launches with stories from the U.N. Observers in Syria, an anti-government hunger strike in Bahrain, clashes in Cambodia over land rights and Occupy Wall Street.
“We hope this project can not only be a catalyst to awareness, but offer people new avenues for action and impact,” YouTube says. “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.”
You can send video for review to the channel at [email protected]
, with information about the story you’re watching unfold. The channel will be available on Google+, where YouTube hopes discussions of human rights will continue.
Is YouTube’s Human Rights channel the future of activism? Let us know if you think this will become a destination for online organizing.