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As of today, YouTube has launched a face blurring tool that gives users the option to obscure faces within videos.

According to the international human rights organisation, WITNESS’ Cameras Everywhere report earlier this year; “No video-sharing site or hardware manufacturer currently offers users the option to blur faces or protect identity.”

YouTube is amongst the first.

If you want to share sensitive footage without exposing the faces within your video(s), or even broadcasting children’s faces to the world, this tool is a step in the right direction to providing visual anonymity on YouTube.

To blur faces on YouTube, select the video you’d like to edit within the Video Enhancements option, click on the Additional Features button and click the “Apply” button beneath ‘Blur All Faces’.  Simple.  Before you publish your video you will see a preview of what your video looks like with blurred faces.  When you have saved your changes, a new copy of the video is created and you have the option to delete the original.

Expect the new technology to have difficulty detecting all faces at first.  Bear in mind the lighting, angle of the shot, video quality and obstructions when you’re expecting it to pick up every face.  It’s possible certain frames or faces will be missed.  Should you be dissatisfied with the accuracy of YouTube’s blurring feature, you can always set the video to private.

Video visual anonymity allows users to share their personal footage more widely and to speak out more confidently where previously they may have not wished to show their face in front of the camera.

The original post can be found on the YouTube Global blog.