YouTube now allows you to easily blur faces on your Internet videos

02.06.2013 16:26


YouTube now allows you to easily blur faces on your Internet videos

by Mark Shapiro

It has always been possible to blur faces on videos in order to provide privacy and/or security or to comply with legal directives. However, depending on the video, it wasn't easy. You could use a sophisticated video editing program like Adobe Première or Final Cut Pro to isolate and blur a face. It wasn't simple - especially if there was a lot of movement in the video.


YouTube has now made it easy to easily & automatically blur faces on videos uploaded to the YouTube site. However, it is not perfect. Sometimes it works - sometimes not. You don't get to pick which faces get blurred. The software tries to identify, isolate and blur all the faces. See the BLUE warning below within the blog entry from YouTube.



Face blurring: when footage requires anonymity


As citizens continue to play a critical role in supplying news and human rights footage from around the world, YouTube is committed to creating even better tools to help them. 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.”

YouTube is excited to be among the first.

Today we're launching face blurring - a new tool that allows you to obscure faces within videos with the click of a button.

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.

















Blurring faces on YouTube is simple. Once you’ve chosen the video that you’d like to edit within our Video Enhancements tool, go to Additional Features and click the “Apply” button below Blur All Faces. Before you publish, you will see a preview of what your video will look like with faces blurred. When you save the changes to your video, a new copy is created with the blurred faces. You will then be given the option to delete the original video.

This is emerging technology, which means it sometimes has difficulty detecting faces depending on 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.

Visual anonymity in video allows people to share personal footage more widely and to speak out when they otherwise may not.

Because human rights footage, in particular, opens up new risks to the people posting videos and to those filmed, it’s important to keep in mind other ways to 
protect yourself and the people in your videos

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.