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YouTube adds a custom blurring tool for creators

Blur out anything you want without having to edit and upload the video all over again.
Nicole Lee, @nicole
February 25, 2016
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Let's say you've uploaded a video to YouTube only to find that you accidentally left your phone number on full display to the world. If you wanted to avoid an avalanche of unwanted phone calls, you'd have to delete it entirely plus edit and upload the video all over again. Fortunately, as of today, that's no longer necessary. YouTube has just announced a new custom blurring tool that lets creators blur any object in the video right within the YouTube interface. You could use this to hide everything from license plates to brand names to a person's naughty bits.

If this sounds a little familiar, that's because YouTube did launch a blur ability in 2012, but that was only for people's faces. This new blurring tool, on the other hand, is for pretty much anything that you want to obscure. All you need to do is draw a square around what you want to block out and the software will automatically do it for you. The cool part is that the blur will persist even as the object moves around, thanks to some tech that figures out video motion on the fly. If you want that blur to remain stationary throughout the clip instead, you can select "Lock" to fix it in place.

"While the use cases for this tool are vast, we built this feature with visual anonymity in mind," said Amanda Conway, YouTube's Privacy Lead in a statement. "We wanted to give you a simple way to blur things like people, contact information or financial data without having to remove and re-upload your content."

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