World Bulletin / News Desk
Video website YouTube unveiled on Wednesday a way for users to automatically blur human faces in videos they upload, a feature that would help protect the identities of political dissidents, YouTube parent Google Inc said.
Once known more as a repository for fuzzy, home-made cat videos, YouTube has become a growing destination for slick, highly produced entertainment and serious news content. Earlier this week, a study by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism said amateur "citizen journalism" footage from events such as the 2011 tsunami in Japan were some of the most-watched clips on YouTube.
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"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," YouTube said in a blog post Wednesday.
The feature also allows for the original copy of the uploaded video to be deleted. Videos may also be kept private.
"YouTube is proud to be a destination where people worldwide come to share their stories, including activists," YouTube said.
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The security improvement was described as being part of a broader effort to rid the leading social network of hoaxes, misinformation and fake news by verifying people's identities.
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