Whether you’re uploading videos of your young child dancing around the living room or of a controversial protest, you may want to keep the identities of the people in your videos under wraps.
YouTube announced Wednesday that it’s introducing a facial blurring tool that will let anyone using the site’s Web video editor obscure the identities of people in their shots. The tool itself is fairly straightforward — users can go to the “Enhancements” tab in the video editor and apply the filter.
The tool won’t work on every face, YouTube said. “This is emerging technology, which means it sometimes has difficulty detecting faces depending on the angle, lighting, obstructions and video quality. It’s possible that certain faces or frames will not be blurred,” YouTube policy associate Amanda Conway wrote in a blog post. “If you are not satisfied with the accuracy of the blurring as you see it in the preview, you may wish to keep your video private.”
The video site said that it was interested in offering the tool because of the growing role that online video plays in social movements and in spreading news events around the world.
A recent study from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found that the site plays a important role in spreading news around the world, The Washington Post reported Monday. PEJ Deputy Director Amy Mitchell told The Post’s Paul Farhi, “We’re not saying that people are going to YouTube instead of traditional news sources, but this is a new kind of interaction and a new way of absorbing and learning about events from around the world.”
YouTube said that being able to share news stories is a key reason that it introduced the tool.
“Visual anonymity in video allows people to share personal footage more widely and to speak out when they otherwise may not,” Conway wrote.
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