YouTube Killed the Video Star

YouTube Enables One-Click Face Blurring for Cyberheroes and Overprotective Parents

Anonymity with just one click.
picture 1 YouTube Enables One Click Face Blurring for Cyberheroes and Overprotective Parents

(Photo: YouTube)

After human rights organization WITNESS reported that no video sharing platform offered one-click face blurring, YouTube–the overachieving video arm of Google–decided, “Wait a second, we could build that!” Today, YouTube announced that they officially implemented the tool with the hopes that it will help activists in repressed countries be able to share their footage without fear of retaliation.

According to a post on the company’s 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 “emerging technology” automatically detects faces in a video. Once you click the “Apply” button under “Blur All Faces,” your video should be immediately wiped of identifying characteristics. Ahh, sweet pixelated perfection.

Face blurring will be incredibly useful for international activists who rely on the Internet–and anonymity–to spread their message, but it may also appease overprotective parents who want to solicit anonymous reactions to their children’s athletic abilities without flashing little Tommy’s face all over the Interwebs. So thoughtful.

Face blurring also seems like it’d be a useful tool for amateur porn producers: Getting feedback for your smutty tapes without worrying about being identified as “the girl who works as a temp at that law office on Route 79?”

We can hear Kim Kardashian shrieking in frustration from here.

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com