Activist footage cited as the major motivator to include such a feature.
YouTube announced that it has launched a new feature that allows users to blur out faces in videos, helping them protect identities of the recorded subjects. If the WITNESS 2011 Cameras Everywhere Report is anything to go by, YouTube is the only website to offer such a feature.
One of the reasons cited to introduce face blurring is to help people posting sensitive videos to protect identities of themselves and of others involved with the video.
“YouTube is proud to be a destination where people worldwide come to share their stories, including activists. Along with efforts like the Human Rights Channel and Citizentube that curate these voices, we hope that the new technologies we’re rolling out will facilitate the sharing of even more stories on our platform,” said Amanda Conway, YouTube policy associate, on the official announcement post.
The tool to blur faces is rather primitive at the moment. For now, users must rely on YouTube to automatically detect faces and blur them out. According to YouTube, the technology is not perfect and will have “difficulty detecting faces depending on the angle, lighting, obstructions and video quality.” The company has not detailed future plans to if selective blurring will be included or not.