YouTube blurs the lines
The video site rolled out a new tool yesterday that can blur faces in videos. The editing feature was built in response to the increasing amount of dissident video-makers who use the site to get out news of their struggles, sometimes putting people featured in the clips at great risk. From the YouTube 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.
Seems like YouTube was more interested in getting this feature out to the public than perfecting it. Hooray, humanity! It admits that the blurring feature is “emerging technology” and may not be perfect, urging users to preview the video before posting. Also along the lines of “emerging technology,” there’s no way to choose which faces get blurred. You can choose the “Blur All Faces” option, and YouTube’s algorithms will do their best. Once you’re satisfactorily blurry, you also have the option of permanently deleting your original video, which leaves no “paper trail” and probably helps keep YouTube employees safe by not becoming the target of extremists demanding to see original footage.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.