Like we mentioned in one of our earlier reports, YouTube, the popular destination for videos is fast emerging as the destination for accessing news and disaster footage. Citizens have been actively uploading videos pertaining to specific incidents and contributing towards strengthening this newer breed of journalists. Needless to add, while uploading videos, it is imperative that users maintain certain caution and do so with responsibility – like respecting the reputation and private lives of those featuring in those videos. To deal with the situation, YouTube has introduced a new tool that would help users blur faces of those appearing in the video, if they choose to maintain anonymity.
The Video Enhancements tool, as it is called, allows users to blur faces appearing within a video 'with the click of a button.' Detailing on the scope of the use of this feature, YouTube states on its official blog,“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.”
The Video Enhancement tool in action
To begin with, once the user has chosen the video that he or she would want to edit within YouTube's new tool, they can go to Additional Features and click the “Apply” button below Blur All Faces. Once done, users will be able to check the preview of the video with the faces blurrred. On saving the changes done to the video, a new copy of the video with the blurred faces will be created and users will be given the option to delete the original video.
The official post further reveals that according to the International human rights organization WITNESS’ Cameras Everywhere report, “No video-sharing site or hardware manufacturer currently offers users the option to blur faces or protect identity.” And this makes YouTube among the first ones to offer such an option.
The popular video-viewing destination further clarifies that since this tool is still an 'emerging technology', chances are that it may be difficult at times to detect faces because of factors like the angle, lighting, obstructions and video quality. “It’s possible that certain faces or frames will not be blurred. 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,” youTube adds further.