YouTube Gives £600,000 to Charities to Tackle Gang Violence


YouTube has pledged funds to help tackle the glamorisation of knife crime and gang violence on social media. 

YouTube’s parent company, Google, said the new fund is designed to help charities working with vulnerable children to stop them from being lured into gangs, and to tackle the challenges of how young people at risk use social media.

The fund will also be used to support efforts to identify and take down violent content that glamorises gang culture while ensuring it does not reappear on the platform.

Earlier this year, London’s murder rate overtook New York’s with a steep rise in the number of knife crimes. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick attributed this rise to the increased use of social media among young people.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan welcomed the investment, saying: “I called for social media companies to toughen up their guidelines around violent content and that’s why I am pleased I have been able to get leading online platforms, charities and music artists together as part of a commitment to better identify and remove content that incites violence much more quickly.

“This investment will help do that and plays a key role in the long-term public health approach I am leading in London to understand the complex causes of all types of violence and put in place measures to give communities the powers and resources to make key interventions in our battle to bear down on knife and violent crime.”

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Frontline Professionals to Receive Training

The fund will enable charities Catch22 and Redthread to train more than 500 social and youth workers, teachers and other frontline professionals to deal with the challenges surrounding young people’s use of social media and to promote its use for good.

Redthread CEO John Poyton said: “We see the link between social media content and violence in communities as a symptom of a wider, systemic problem and believe we must analyse the causes, diagnose the problem, look at what works to treat the symptoms and develop solutions to protect our young people.”

Catch22 director of engagement, Beth Murray, said: “Negative activity on social media is a symptom, rather than a cause, of youth violence.

“To have a real impact on London’s levels of youth violence we must tackle the cause; disenfranchised young people, who need positive people around them, a safe place to live, and something purposeful to do.”

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