Gone are the days when YouTube simply served as a portal for viral videos that are entertaining and cute -- but not much more.
After effectively offering a soundboard to Egypt’s revolutionaries and educating 90 million-plus people about the atrocious crimes committed by warlord Joseph Kony, the video-sharing site has decided to commit an entire channel to human rights issues, the site announced Thursday.
"In the case of human rights," YouTube announced on its blog, "video plays a particularly important role in illuminating what occurs when governments and individuals in power abuse their positions."
To help execute the channel, YouTube has joined forces with its nonprofit parter, WITNESS, a global leader in the use of video for human rights, and Storyful, a social newsgathering operation. The goal is to enable citizen journalists and organizations to upload footage of under-reported human rights stories and galvanize viewers to take action.
"We hope this project can not only be a catalyst to awareness, but offer people new avenues for action and impact," the blog post notes. "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."
Click through the slideshow below to see some of the inspiring videos already posted to YouTube's human rights channel.