YouTube creators are turning clicks into charity

They’re uploading videos and donating the advertising revenue to Black Lives Matter.


June 11, 2020

Photo: Vee Kativhu / Youtube

PSA: Here’s a golden opportunity for some guilt-free bingeing. 

A few YouTubers cooked up a cool way for people to contribute to Black Lives Matter, right from their couches.

Here’s how it works, courtesy of OneZero: The creator uploads a video, waits for the binge-watchers to arrive, and then donates the AdSense revenue that the clip generates. 

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Viewers can raise money without lifting a finger. Except to press play, of course.

ASMR activism is a thing now 

YouTuber Zoe Amira posted the first of these videos 2 weeks ago, as part of a trend called Views for a Vision. Her clip has been viewed nearly 10m times. On Sunday, she tweeted an update showing the video had brought in an estimated ~$42k in revenue.

One YouTuber created a big playlist of these uploads, spotlighting police brutality, black artists, and even those trendy ASMR vids.

They’re workin’ that algorithm

Never underestimate the power of the YouTube proletariat. 

The videos’ comment sections are filled with tips on how to maximize views and money. (Viewers, turn off your ad blockers, and creators, dodge those spam flags.) 

Another tactic: Leaving fun facts in the comments to boost a video’s SEO. Best one so far: “Banging your head against a wall for one hour burns 150 calories.” Just in case anyone needed a new quarantine workout.

But YouTube’s on to them

A Google employee wrote a post pointing out that it’s against the rules to juice engagement with a video. It warns that any clips encouraging people to drive up ad metrics would be removed.

Amira’s video apparently crossed the line — she said on Twitter yesterday that Google found the clip violated its monetization rules. But Amira said YouTube committed to donating the money that had been raised already.

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