Google has added a new face blurring feature into YouTube in an effort to provide visual anonymity for video on the network. Google says the new feature has been added following a recent observation from human rights group called WITNESS that no Social Networking site offers such technology.
To use the feature, users need to select the video they want to edit within YouTube's Video Enhancement tool, then go to Additional Features and click the “Apply” button placed under the 'Blur All Faces' option. YouTube also lets you have a preview of the video before making it live. There is also an option to delete the non-blurred and original copy of the video from your account.
Google has explained the feature with an example of the Arab Spring protests in Egypt. The Internet giant, however, points out that this feature is an “emerging technology” and that it might not be 100 percent accurate.
“Whether you want to share sensitive protest footage without exposing the faces of the activists involved, or share the winning point in your 8-year-old’s basketball game without broadcasting the children’s faces to the world, our face blurring technology is a first step towards providing visual anonymity for video on YouTube,” says Google in a blog post.
click to enlarge
Speaking about visual anonymity, Google says it is proud to be a home for activist videos, and hopes the new feature will encourage more people to speak out against oppression. "Visual anonymity in video allows people to share personal footage more widely and to speak out when they otherwise may not," the blog post further stresses.
"Because human rights footage, in particular, opens up new risks to the people posting videos and to those filmed, it's important to keep in mind other ways to protect yourself in the people in your videos. YouTube is proud to be a destination where people worldwide come to share their stories, including activists,” the post concludes.
In the recent past, Google has been using this technology to blur faces and licence plate numbers on its Street View mapping service.