Yesterday YouTube announced a helpful new tool—face blurring. Now, when you upload footage that requires anonymity you can blur out all the faces in the video in one click. We decided to put the face blurring feature to the test… on cats and dogs. And guess what? It worked. Well, some of the time.
Before we get to the animals, let’s take a quick look at the new face blurring tool, how it works and what it does. YouTube policy associate, Amanda Conway, writes on 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.”
Blurring faces is easy. When you are on the page of the video you’d like to blur, just click the Enhancements button to go to YouTube’s Video Enhancement tool. Click ‘Additional features’ beneath the video and then click the Apply button to blur all faces. WARNING: The ‘Delete the original video’ box will be checked by default. If you do not want your original video to be deleted you must uncheck this! Save to make changes to the original clip or click ‘Save As’ to save a new version with faces blurred.
Conway provides the following disclaimer about the effectiveness of the Face Blurring feature: “This is emerging technology, which means it sometimes has difficulty detecting faces depending on the angle, lighting, obstructions and video quality. It is 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.”
We decided to see how the new feature would do with blurring out the fuzzy faces of cats, dogs and other animals so we tried it out with our video, ‘The Best Pets & Animals Videos On YouTube,’ part of our ‘Ultimate Guide To Viral Videos’ (the original pets and animals video was accidentally deleted during the process – PLEASE heed the warning above – and we are working to recover it). As you can see, YouTube’s new feature does even manage to blur out the faces of our fuzzy friends from time to time, although it certainly isn’t consistent. I am happy to report, however, that nearly all of the human faces appearing in the video were blurred.
Check out our pets and animals face blurring video and let us know what you think of the new feature in the comments below.
Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times. Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.