YouTube's New Face Blurring Feature Can Save Lives, Embarrassment

Matt at Buzzfeed points out that YouTube's new face blurring feature could save lives in those parts of the world where people are prosecuted by totalitarian—and not so totalitarian—states. Here's what YouTube has to say about it:

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.

Indeed, this is excellent news. Anything that allows citizens to freely expose any abuse and promote change is good news. It would be neat if the system also allowed to blur only certain faces—using tracking technology like some video editing software—preserving the baddies' faces.

A less noble effect of this feature would be saving the embarrassment to the morons who protagonist the neverending stream of fail videos in YouTube. Bonus: perhaps this will also increase their number and, therefore, our enjoyment. But whatever its use, this is a great new feature.

I just hope it doesn't propagate to amateur porn video sites. [YouTube Blog via Buzzfeed]