As Buzzfeed points out, YouTube's new face-blurring feature could save lives, especially 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 organisation 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. It would be neat if the system allowed to blur only certain faces — using tracking technology like some video-editing software — because that way people would be able to denounce evil people while maintaining their own privacy.
A less noble effect would be saving some embarrassment to some of the morons who usually publish fail videos on YouTube — although maybe this feature will increase their numbers and our enjoyment. [YouTube Blog via Buzzfeed]