Sometimes, it is the nonprofit organizations or the social activism that keeps a community alive. Bringing activism into social media platforms makes it accessible to many and gives global recognition to issues. Nonprofit organizations help improve the standard of living, provide education and make people aware of their rights, which can give rise to grassroot movements. Hence, it should be common knowledge that activism goes very much hand in hand with nonprofit organizations. YouTube has now amassed millions of organizations that are working for social welfare and political interests in their respective countries. Globalization has led to an interest in international politics, piquing our curiosity even more. Such channels, as are in this list, feed into this need for awareness and how are people handling problems. It also creates a sense of solidarity between those that are fighting a similar struggle and can provide reassurance to the other.
TEDx is an international variant of TED style talks also organized by TED to bring its mission to local communities around the world. These celebrate ideas of creative individuals within a local community to get people to engage in conversations, get to know the speakers and be able to relate to their experiences and find motivation. These talks are specially designed to be conducted within a certain time limit so that they are short, precise and people can sit through them. The YouTube channel has all of the videos professionally recorded and uploaded for their 19 million subscribers. The talks vary from education, business, tech, motivation, the speaker’s personal experiences and so on. As of July 2019 TEDx has 3.2 billion views on their videos in total. It also happens to be the 43rd most subscribed channel in the United states.
Essentially a channel dedicated to pulling pranks on strangers, Rakamakafo was created by Nikolay Sobolev and Guram Narmania, students of the Polytechnic University. The idea behind this channel was to conduct social experiments on random people on the streets. It started in 2014 as a low budget and a lowkey prank channel but eventually their videos started becoming extremely popular. Their 3.2 million subscribers avidly watch these videos and they have about 3.6 million views in total. This is a humorous and a light hearted take, claims the channel, on issues that require for people to be more than indifferent. They have made videos with meaningful messages and urge people to care more about those around them. The videos are usually shot with a hidden camera. The channel won an award for Social Project in 2015 at the Wildfest festival. Their main question to their followers is ‘What would you do in their place?’.
A channel that touches on topics people would rather never engage with, Jubilee started in 2010 with the intent of creating a movement of sorts to bring change for human betterment. This US based YouTube channel makes human-centric videos that challenge the status quo and explore the social construct. It is a platform that makes you have real and sometimes uncomfortable conversations. Their videos range from asking questions regarding Islam, atheism, lookism, the celebrity cancel culture to speed dating, how dating apps would work in real life and so on. Jubilee has around 3.3 million subscribers with 5.1 million views in total, of their videos. The aim of this channel is to ‘inspire people to live deeper’.
Alexei Navalny is a renowned Russian lawyer and a political activist who gained prominence after his controversial views regarding the Russian president Vladimir Putin. He started his YouTube channel in 2013 and uses the platform for critical analysis of the current government, their policies and exposes the hollow reforms of the united Russia. His videos have humorous captions, funny thumbnails and he seems to engage in and enjoy political satire. Alexei is a busy man, being a member of the Russian Opposition Coordination council and the leader of the political party Progress Party. He started off as a blogger hosted by LiveJournal but switched to YouTube where he has around 2.8 million subscribers. He also publishes videos to promote his campaigns for office and organize political demonstrations. The videos on his channel have about 5.3 million views in total.
An Indian Yoga guru, Swami Ramdev seems to have mastered it all. He has his own running business Patanjali Ayurved Ltd, deep interest in yoga and is involved in the world of Indian politics. He started his YouTube channel in 2010 after being in front of a camera since 2003 for reality TV or morning talk shows. He is a popular yogi in India and has taught celebrities like Amitabh Bachan, Shilpa Shetty and so on. He takes up developmental and political issues like poverty, improvement of the standard of living and the follies of the Election Commission of India. He, however, uses his YouTube channel to teach his audience yoga, different ways to relax the body, promote his company and sometimes take up the topic of Indian politics. He has said that he created this channel to inspire people spiritually so they find within themselves peace and perhaps happiness. There are about 2.7 million subscribers on Swami Ramdev’s channel and around 3.3 million views in total.
Lion against or Lion Versus is a Russian YouTube channel that started as a social movement opposed to drinking alcohol and smoking in public. The way the volunteers or followers of this group ensure this is by conducting video recorded raids in non-smoking public areas. They use their YouTube platform to post these videos, publicly shaming smokers and drinkers and have been able to gain about 1.7 million subscribers who also support their cause. These activists spray water on the smokers’ hands if they refuse to extinguish their cigarette or ask the drinkers to pour their alcohol into the trash cans nearby. Sometimes these raids are accompanied by police officers, which means the government is also in favor of this method of purging smoking and drinking- at least in public spaces. The channel was founded in 2014 by an 18 year old Mikhail Lev Lazutin and his fellow members from Russian pedestrian-rights youth movement StopXAM. The channel now has around 2.7 million views in total.
YouFact is a YouTube channel that has amassed around 1.6 million subscribers. The idea behind the channel was to provide authentic, interesting facts to their subscribers. Most of their videos incorporate lists like 10 cool and useful things from Amazon, 13 genius gadgets that you should have and so on. The channel started in February 2015 and since has acquired enough of a viewership to have the same channel in English language. The total view count is 5.7 million with a single videos getting an average of 123K views.
A channel dedicated to make conversations that are usually difficult to have happen, ‘Let Them Talk’ is a TV show signed under First Channel that gained enough interest to emanate a YouTube channel in 2015, which now has around 1.5 million subscribers. They target individuals who are going through problems, making each episode revolve around that particular individual. The problems are sometimes around prisoners and their plight, personal problems like dealing with anger issues, not being able to prioritize family and even local rumors proven wrong or right. The creators say these are stories which are impossible to remain untold. This channel essentially deals with how fragile but at the same time strong humans can be and try to spread the message that all stories have a listener. These videos have amassed around 7.9 million viewers in the channel’s short existence.
This channel was an initiative established by a handful of university students in Bornova, Izmir. It is a platform for young Muslims that aims to explain the truths Islam offers in all situations. This organization has several initiatives that are underwork as of now; one of them was to help young people of the Muslim community who had been shrouded and wounded by sin. The creators wanted to touch the hearts of such people to make it easier for them to come out of their cycle of sins and become less ‘troubled’. The videos on the channel range from marveling at God’s creation and conducting experiments to serious discussions like equal rights for women in Islam. They do not have a set criteria for their videos as some are even interviews with random strangers on the street in relation to religious beliefs or completely informative videos on Islamic stories and miracles like the Laylat al Qadar. This channel has around 1.4 million views in total.
Makaseb is a YouTube channel that was created in 2013 with the intent of spreading the message given to the Muslims by God. Their audience too is predominantly Muslims as the videos they make require a context either understood by a religion enthusiast or a Muslim. It is also a self-help channel where the videos tend to cater to the everyday needs or problems people face like unsuccessful marriages, the law, how to overcome grief and so on. One segment of their channel focuses on Jinn and black magic. Makaseb’s philosophy is that no matter what part of the world you are in, they are always there to help people find peace and provide help within the circle of Islam, through their channel. There are around 1.4 million followers of this channel and 1.5 million views on their videos in total.
The official YouTube channel of Bharat Swabhiman Trust was founded the yoga guru Swabhiman Ramdev in December 2010. The trust has its interests rooted in discussing politics and aims to make India corruption free, to promote cottage and indigenous industry and incorporate yoga more in a common man’s life. Baba Ramdev has always believed in yoga as a lifestyle that perpetuates peace and a sense of community that is otherwise lost in this individualistic world. His movement within the government too reasserts this philosophy and his YouTube videos are a way to promote his ideas to his 1.4 million subscribers and more. One part of his channel focuses on teaching yoga and its benefits as well as ayurvedic medicines. His videos have a total of 2.8 million views.
Even though politics is discussed to a large extent, the Trust, however, claims to be non-political in a sense that it only focuses on fixing the society and its woes from within.
A YouTube channel solely dedicated to the general financing in a Muslim’s life, Rizq and Wealth has been around since 2015 and has acted as a guide for Muslims all around the world, especially those near the Arabian peninsula, for financial assistance and at some point, motivation too. The channel’s philosophy is to teach Muslims how to make honest money and how to use the verses of the Quran as a source of energy that attracts wealth and money. But while doing so it also tries to help its 1.3 million subscribers understand that nothing happens within a short period of time; there is a process one needs to go through to be able to achieve anything in life. Their idea is to preach that ‘what we see in front of us may not be the end of the story’, so it is smart to be patient and watch what happens. The videos are sometimes stories of people/Muslims who have reached their peak through hard work and patience, verses and Duaas to help your financial status and the recitation of Quran. The views in total of these videos are around 9.7 million.
Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Bin Abdul Rahman Al-Arifi is a well-known Muslim scholar, preacher, a doctor in faith and an associate professor at Saud University. This is his official YouTube channel where videos of his Friday sermons at the Al Bawardi Mosque in Riyadh are uploaded, as well as lessons pertaining to science and religion, his TV interviews and the shows hosted by him on satellite TV. He is one the most popular journalist in Saudi Arabia and gets invited to a number of programs- while also hosting some- to talk about religion, the current status of the Muslim Ummah (people) and the Shariyah (Islamic Law). His channel has around 1.3 million subscribers with around 8.1 million views in total. It is also used as an archive for all of his videos and preaching.
Hayalhanem is a Turkish YouTube channel that started in 2013 with the aim of providing ‘good education’ that could be life changing for an individual. From then onwards, the creators have come far in achieving their goals, as this is one of the most popular Islamic channels in Turkey, even though the message they are trying to promote comes across in all languages on the platform. Their videos are not to necessarily appeal to just the Turkish Muslims but the Muslim community all around the world. One segment of their channel conducts social experiments and street interviews in light of Islam. They make travel videos, vlogs, Islamic/religious videos for their 1.3 million subscribers. Hayalhanem encourages people to have conversations with them, as burning questions which they are able to answer in the light of scientific data. Their videos have around 1.3 million views in total.
MBL, Movimento Brasil Livre, has long been a movement to bring change to Brazil but came to YouTube, officially, in 2014. The movement has a large following in Brazil and has been able to create a wave of new thinkers that have demanded changes in the constitution and provide policy proposals that are available to the public for critique and additions. They believe heavily in the public opinion as they too are a group of common people who have steadily gained momentum in their movement. In November, they were given the chance to vote in the National Congress meeting for proposals they wanted to go forward with for the country. These have now been made public. They have used the YouTube platform to promote their political endeavors as well as show their struggle throughout. However, the channel predominantly features educational videos surrounding politics in Brazil. Their subscriber count is around 1.3 million and the video count is 2.3 million in total.
Al Mohsin is a sort of self-help Islamic channel that caters to all the Muslims around the world. It has taken upon itself to create videos with lengthy explanations on several laws of Islam and has made detailed videos on all aspects and laws of shariah. Some of the videos talk about the healing process, the employment issues, cure of witchcraft, even scientific explanations directly linked to Qur’anic surahs. There are one to two hour long recitations of the Quran available on the channel which, they believe, help people feel calm and heal the mind. Their subscriber count is around 1.2 million and their videos have a total of 1.4 million views.
Da Ri Zong is a sect in Buddhism that talks about consciousness and emphasizes the heart. Song Qili is one of the most influential religious figures who have been advocates of Da Ri Zong and preach it. This YouTube channel has most of Song Qili’s talks and his sermons at different occasions. He is addressing a large procession in almost all videos and helps people become intune with themselves, get motivated and feel happy in their lives. The channel has around 1 million subscribers and a total of 2.6 million views.
TheRelizz is a Russian channel that publishes videos weekly without fail and is known for its interesting, attention grabbing content. The videos are short, precise and easy to follow. Some of them are motivational videos that follow a person’s life story and how they overcame several hurdles, while others are bizarre facts or videos that have a shock factor. The idea behind their channel is to provide people with content that is entertaining but nevertheless, thought provoking. They sometimes focus on restoring a person’s faith in humanity by publishing videos that have people helping one another as a subject matter. TheRelizz have around 1 million subscribers on their channel and 2.1 million views on their videos in total.
Absolute Motivation is a channel catered to making videos solely for the purpose of motivating human beings. Its mission in particular is to enhance the human ‘experience’ by creating content that challenges 'people intellectually, as well as assist in expanding ones horizons, mind and consciousness through knowledge and good judgement that one can incorporate into ones everyday life. Their content is a mixture of a number of videos found on the internet which have celebrity interviews, someone’s life story, a motivational speaker’s talk and so on. They enhance their video quality with interesting typography as well as video effects which make the normally 11 minutes long videos fun and engaging. The channel is based in the United Kingdom, having around 1 million followers and 4.7 million views on their videos in total.
The owner of Microsoft, a man who was ranked one of the most influential individuals in the world, Bill Gates created his YouTube channel in 2012. This is his personal YouTube channel where he rarely talks about his business, rather all his side projects, his philanthropy, and whatever interests him at a given moment. The videos are about issues he has helped tackle, or wants to focus on, for example, the improvement of education, poverty alleviation, affordable energy resources and so on. He believes that the reason he has been able to do any of his projects is because his work allows him to travel the world and come face to face with issues that he thinks he can help improve. He is known to post almost regularly and each time there is an interesting program he has looked into, for example a new virus, or deadliest animals and the like. He has around 971k subscribers and 6.6 million views in total.
Acharaya Balkrishana is a yoga guru of Nepali origin with an international authority over Ayurveda and traditional herbs. He, along with Ramdev, another well-known yogi, founded Divya Yoga Pharmacy in 1995 but then shifted to Patanjali Ayurved, which is involved in the manufacturing and trading of ayurvedic products. He is one of the richest men in India with his net worth, according to Forbes, being US$6.1 billion, as of 2018. He started his YouTube channel in 2013 with the intent of imparting traditional knowledge of yoga and Ayurveda. He has also made videos on the rural economy and its rejuvenation, the urban slums, the environmental issues and how to mend that imbalance. He is a strong advocate of decolonization from The West and criticizes its assimilation into the Indian society. He has around 952K subscribers and has 8.6 million views in total on his videos.
A media channel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mormon channel has been on YouTube since 2008. TCJCLS decided to launch their YouTube channel which is, of course, video based content because they wanted to reach a wider audience and be recognized internationally. Their channel includes motivational and inspirational videos for people who are going through a hard time. The videos are well shot and are extremely pleasing to watch. It seems like a progressive channel as it takes up topics of pornography, sexuality, sexual abuse and how people have been able to tackle such problem through individuals’ personal experiences. They tend to post quite frequently throughout the week and the total viewer’s count is 3 million. The channel has around 939K subscribers.
Emm Pee Cassette Company is the official filming crew of Baba Ranjit Singh Khalsa Dhadrian Wale, who happens to be one of the reformers of Sikh Panth and a religious musical artist. He is one of the most popular Sikhs who have been able to fight for the rights of the Sikh community as well as improve their plight. He has a massive following in India and is seen as an inspirational figure wherever he visits. The YouTube channel is an archive of sorts for all the videos that have been shot featuring Baba Ranjit Singh. The videos include his speeches at various events, his participation in talk shows, event coverage and promotional videos. Each of these videos average around 20-60K views and have a total of 2.4 million views and 952K subscribers.
Sheikh Yasser Al Dossari is a member of the faculty at Saud University, a part of Saudi Juristic society and Saudi Judicial society. He is one the most popular imams of the grand mosque in Saudi Arabia. He is also the founder of the Ayay Quranic Media Group and is a preacher at Al Dakhil Mosque. Yasser holds a doctorate in Comparative jurisprudence and is a popular speaker in Saudi Arabia as well as the collective Muslim world. His YouTube channel features videos of his Quran recitation and him leading the prayers. Some of the videos are of his meetings with other imams where they discuss Islamic jurisprudence, the Shariah Law, issues facing the Muslim Ummah and so on. However, the channel, with 924K subscribers, is dedicated to his career as an imam much more than the rest of his areas of expertise. He has around 2.1 million views in total and an average of 40-70K views on a single video.
The international commercial television is a TV channel primarily aired in Ukraine and is the fourth channel in the nation to have received 56.6% coverage. This channel features the most shows about law enforcement and the army in comparison and has thus been subject to controversy in Ukraine. ICTV created an internet version of the channel and soon after their YouTube channel followed in 2009. This channel acts as a platform for ICTV promotions for their website with various snippets of episodes, provides teasers, serials, and movies that are available in full length on their site. The programs being aired include freedom of speech, Civil Defense, Insider, Antizombi and so on. The idea behind their website is to have new releases of all programs appear faster there than on TV, and the videos can be watched as if they were being recorded live. They have around 939K subscribers and around 6.9K views in total.
Joel Osteen is an American pastor, an author and a televangelist based in Houston, Texas. At first, Joel was not keen on being in front of people and to preach to a large number of people- he much rather liked working behind the scenes. However, after his father’s suggestion, he did so and is now America’s most watched inspirational figure. The idea behind creating a YouTube channel was to appeal to a larger audience, be able to provide hope, inspire and provide unconditional love found only after forming a relationship with Jesus Christ. He believes that he has been able to build a relationship with Jesus, rather than just following him, and that is the message he wants to impart to the people who listen to him. Around seven million Americans watch Joel Osteen on their local TV. Alongside his wife Victoria Osteen, the pastor has a series of inspirational videos which are uploaded on YouTube a few times in a week. The channel has around 901K subscribers and 1.9 million views
Haramaininfo is a Saudi channel solely dedicated to all that happens around Haramain, be it regular salah, khutbah or Friday prayers. The idea behind this channel is to be able to provide those Muslims who are unable to travel to Saudi Arabia the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Adhan at the Haram, Masjid e Nabwi, the flurry of motion and the expansive landscape. It almost feels as if it is a live recording of the ongoing and the viewers are left with a treat for their eyes. They channel has expanded to a website ‘haramain.info’ and a mobile app that brings Muslims closer to the most sacred place to them. The channel has around 882K subscribers and 1.3 million views in total.
Literally translated at ‘Be or’, this Russia based YouTube channel has been in the local papers and articles quite a bit because of the controversial nature of its content. The person who created and manages this channel likes to remain anonymous, while tackling the issue of media censorship, the freedom of knowledge and how the state has propelled the media in a certain direction for its own propaganda. He is grateful for the existence of YouTube, a platform where this internet vigilante can let his anti-state thoughts go a little wild. This blog, he claims, is an attempt to invest in discussions about the future, not only of Russia, but of the world. His channel has around 860K subscribers who are avid viewers of his videos. He has created another platform where he wants his subscribers to collectively discuss what “needs to be done” in order for Russia to take a worthy place in the world order in the future. The videos he publishes do indeed jog the intellect and help one learn more about the political scenario in Russia.
TV Center is a Russian local channel that has gained quite a bit of popularity and around 83 regions of the Russian Federation watch it on the daily. Its potential audience, too, exceeds 100 million people. Its YouTube channel is a mixture of Russian history, recent political scenario, interviews and a little bit of critique of the political scene. The channel has around 846K subscribers. About two videos on the daily, which have an average of 130-150K views on each of them and a total of 6.5 million views.
Nitin Das is an Indian filmmaker with an eye for seeing a future of India that might be a tad bit optimistic but it is still a happy picture he paints. He calls himself the ‘wandering filmmaker’, who seeks and tells stories that are not yet known to the general public, exploring extraordinary places while he is at it. His cinematography is quite reflective of a mystical India, of unexplored enchanted lands. The videos he has posted on his YouTube channel transport you to a fairytale land. People have commented that he can sometimes be too removed from reality but with around 845K subscribers and 2.9 million views in total, quite a large number of people disagree with that sentiment.
A foundation dedicated to improving the lives of children, youth and their families, Immaculate Mary Prayer House Foundation has worked such long hours that nights seeped into days and days into night for the evangelization of these children. They can be thought of as a school of sorts where children learn and train in whatever skills they are gifted with to eventually be able to become a source of livelihood for their families. The foundation uses its YouTube channel to preach the word of the gospel to help their 826K followers to understand the sermons and share it with others. They publish videos on a weekly basis which are solely sermons and nothing regarding the foundations work, nor any promotional videos etc. This, however, can be found on their official website fundaction-marianmaculada.org.
VKTARGET is essentially a service for money making on the internet. They promise a hassle free way of earning by staying at home and using any gadget you have at your disposal. They provide people with simple tasks to perform within the social networks and attract new people to get their tasks done from this company. This thus earns the person 15% of what the company will earn through those people. The service has been around since 2012 and has helped earn millions for people and the company. The only requirement for their work is to have accounts on all social media platforms. They have used their YouTube channel to provide step by step videos on how to access the company, how to be effective on it and be able to earn handsomely. They have around 824K subscribers and a total for 2.4K views.
The Daily Reminder is an Islamic channel that was founded in December 2011 as a small scale project, now grown into one of the most influential and beneficial Islamic activist and aid networks all around the world. There are two parts to this program, one looks at Dawah (i.e. preaching and activism) and offers a large number of courses that can be accessed through their online hub. The other focuses on aid work where they start a number of programs and after a given timeline or after completion, they move onto new projects. Their aim is to become the fastest growing aid and networking organization that sets a benchmark for having a ‘self-sustaining financial model’. Their YouTube channel too focuses more on the Dawah part of the organization and has several videos that relate stories of the prophets, talk about the Islamic principles and so on. They have around 870K followers and 7.2 million view count in total.
A popular movement, Stop A Douchebag is a young Russian traffic activist group that appeals to the public and enforces traffic laws when they are not being followed. It is an interesting take on social activism to physically ensure that people are following the rules. However, the message behind the movement is much deeper than making people abide by the law. They say that it is the people’s responsibility to realize their civic duty and to understand how it affects them and those around them. They also say it should not matter whether there is a police officer around or not because the public should feel the responsibility of their actions regardless. They run spotlight drives and document the whole process of stopping people and making them follow the rules and upload them on their YouTube channel. The channel has around 796K subscribers and a total of 2.6 million views on their videos.
This is a YouTube channel created specifically to upload snippets of larger videos of Muslim speakers on relevant topics. The creator has clearly mentioned that they do not have any rights to these videos and only upload these cuts according to their Islamic knowledge because they believe these ought to be shared with a larger audience. The speakers include some of the world renowned scholars like Mufti Menk, Noman Ali Khan and so on. The topic of these videos range from mensuration problems, purdah (covering oneself), to abusive parents. Most of them are short- almost 5 minute long videos- that are precise and to the point. Muslim speakers have around 746K subscribers and 1.6 million views on their videos in total.
Also named Jesus in command, the channel was created to bring people closer through the word of God and thus spread His message. The creator claims that the channel is the property of Jesus Christ himself and the Virgin Mary. The channel was created in Brazil in October of 2015. There is a large variety of videos on this channel ranging fr