Viewers hit ‘dislike’ on #MoreThanARefugee YouTube campaign

Viewers hit ‘dislike’ on #MoreThanARefugee YouTube campaign
A YouTube video seeking to highlight the plight of refugees and promote tolerance has provoked the exact opposite response as an overwhelming number of viewers hit ‘dislike’.

The video, which is titled #MoreThanARefugee, is part of a series created by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in partnership with YouTube. Seven well-known YouTube creators were invited to tell refugees’ stories to mark World Refugee Day Tuesday.

The latest video, which has attracted most of the negative attention, features a young Iraqi girl called Maryam now in Serbia, Palestinian Hasan now in Greece, and Catherine from Sudan, now a refugee in Uganda.

The refugees tell viewers about their interests and about being forced to leave their homelands because of war and violence. The video has been viewed nearly six million times since it was published Tuesday. At the time of writing, more than 230,000 people have disliked it, while approximately 90,000 have given it the thumbs up.

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The project certainly seems to have struck a bum note, as many took to the video's comments section and to Twitter to criticize the content. Many comments are anti-Islamic and anti-Semitic in nature, containing numerous references to Nazism and Hitler, as well as opposition to refugees in general.

Many more described the video as propaganda while others were critical of it for featuring two young girls and an older man when they, inaccurately, claimed that refugees are predominantly young men. The comments section is also flooded with people accusing YouTube of removing comments.

Statistics on Syrian refugees from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees show that almost as many women are refugees as men.

The project asks that people donate funds to the IRC. The rescue fund’s partner Google is matching all donations up to $500,000.