How many times have we seen on TV the following: suspects being taken in for questioning in some big case, protesters speaking out against government policies and so on, all with faces indiscernible, blurred, out of focus? Many times!
Till now you needed tools like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premier Pro to indulge in facial blurring before uploading any video.
Now, YouTube has come up with a similar technology that will allow you to blur the faces of people in videos you upload. Now you can protect the identity of your family and friends, and kids too. After all, once you put it on YouTube, there’s no telling who will take a look at it.
YouTube spokespersons say that they use an algorithm to scan people’s faces and detect features like the eyes. Then it goes ahead with the blurring by adding more pixels and noise. As of now the technology is being offered free to YouTube users. Isn’t that simply amazing?
All you need to do is go to the ‘Video Enhancements’ tool, and select ‘Blur all Faces’. Go to ‘Additional Features’, click on ‘Apply’ (the button just under Blur All Faces). There, now you have complete privacy! Selective blurring has not yet been introduced, though it is not being ruled out by YouTube.
This is especially welcome news for people like protestors and activists, and those who want to speak out against wrongdoing but feel threatened and want to remain anonymous. Citizen journalists and crusaders in oppressed regimes will be encouraged to produce more videos that will help in getting their messages to the rest of the world, while preserving their anonymity. If they are arrested, they are obviously of no use to the people depending on them to overthrow dangerous dictatorships.
This can also be used to mask identities your children and their friends if you have uploaded birthday party videos and the like.
However YouTube also has cautioned that the technology is still in its infancy and that it may not work perfectly at all times. Sometimes some faces may not be detected properly by the software. This depends on the camera angle, the lighting, and of course, the quality of the video. It is absolutely necessary to preview the video after you apply blurring before you actually upload it. They advise keeping the video ‘private’ if users are not entirely satisfied with the blurring effect. You can also delete the original video after you have uploaded the edited file.
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