YouTube announced on its blog today that it has added a new tool allowing users to blur out the faces in an uploaded video. The site wants to give anonymity to users that might fear reprisal by public viewers. “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 site’s post announced.
After you upload the original video, YouTube’s Video Enhancements tool will lead you to “Additional features.” Here you can click apply under “Blur All Faces.” Checking “Delete original video” will then trash your copy of the video with exposed faces.
Currently, YouTube warns the technology is imperfect, and may leave some faces un-blurred. But you can view the video before you post it. If the tool did not catch all faces you can choose to keep the video private. Also, the tool can only blur out all faces in a video, so you can’t single out faces for blurring, and leave the identities of others exposed to the world. Jessica Mason, a spokesperson for YouTube, wrote to Ars in an e-mail that the company was working on improving the technology and creating new features in the future.