A Conversation for Ask h2g2

Pixelating out faces

Post 1

winnoch2 - Impostair Syndromair Extraordinaire

Is it just me or is the practice of pixelating out faces getting out of control?

I have always struggled to understand most targets for pixilation including images of children (I suspect that every paedophile on the planet has more readily available sources of images of fully clothed children including just looking out of their window or snapping a photo of any random busy street).

But the one that confuses the hell out of me is local news sites reporting a crime that someone has got footage of being carried out. The story then ends with a request for any information or help identifying the suspects... images of which are pixelated outsmiley - headhurtssmiley - erm. Ya gads WHY ??!!


Pixelating out faces

Post 2

Baron Grim

I'll just leave this google street view image here.
http://www.techadvisor.com/cmsdata/features/113719/cow_google_street_view.png


Pixelating out faces

Post 3

paulh, the apocalypse is coming, it's just late

Suspicious cow, eh?


Pixelating out faces

Post 4

winnoch2 - Impostair Syndromair Extraordinaire

Well obviously the cow is vulnerable and has to be protected from perverts leering over its snout, but what about my other examples?smiley - tongueout


Pixelating out faces

Post 5

Baron Grim

I suspect the increasing amount of pixelation is due to increasing concern about liability. Organizations, corporate or otherwise, tend to overreact and codify their responses to perceived threats of litigation. Rather than carefully consider the appropriate use of pixelation in any particular instance, they may have adopted blanket policies that err on the side of overuse.

Do the media use the term "person of interest" rather than "suspect" over there? They started switching to "person of interest" here in the States a decade or so ago and it's gotten really out of hand. I almost never hear anyone referred to as a suspect anymore, even in cases where someone is literally caught in the act of whatever it is they may have done, they still get referred to as a "person of interest". It's such a meaningless term and I think that's the point. No one could sue a news organization for being called a "person of interest". I think the pixelation issue is in a similar vein.


Pixelating out faces

Post 6

paulh, the apocalypse is coming, it's just late

Is a banker a person of interest? smiley - tongueout


Pixelating out faces

Post 7

Baron Grim

Quite often, I suspect.


Pixelating out faces

Post 8

Baron Grim

But they're rarely held accountable.


Pixelating out faces

Post 9

winnoch2 - Impostair Syndromair Extraordinaire

Yes I suspected it may be something like thatsmiley - erm. I mean we literally have stories with a CCTV image at the top of the piece, showing people breaking in to a property; with the story asking for help if anyone recognises the smudged and pixelated perps smiley - headhurts

Yea we get 'person of interest' here too. Not sure if I've seen 'suspect' used recently smiley - raisedeyebrow


Pixelating out faces

Post 10

paulh, the apocalypse is coming, it's just late

Jay Leno featured typos and illogic in press reports on "The Tonight show." He enjoyed one that asked the public to identify pictures of two suspects -- both dogs -- and another one that showed a suspect wearing a mask. smiley - laugh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JNEE1cQVM0


Pixelating out faces

Post 11

Baron Grim

Did you realize that's a 4 hour video?

Could you give us the specific time for the relevant clips?


Pixelating out faces

Post 12

Otto Fisch ("One, you started coming over. Two, you started sleeping over. Three, you started taking over. Four, you told me it was over.")


I can think of a few reasons why there might be issues with releasing pixelated CCTV. I wonder if it would generate more heat that light in terms of appeals for public help - the pictures generally aren't great and mistaken identity is always a possibility.

Obviously that's not always the case... pictures were released after the European Championship final disturbances with a request for public support in identifying people, but these pictures were pretty clear.

Obviously legal/slander issues, but presumably it could also prejudice a fair trial to have pictures widely released.

This case with a shoplifter looking a bit like a famous actor was played for laughs, but it might not be so funny if the lookalike lived nearby.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-49361965


Pixelating out faces

Post 13

paulh, the apocalypse is coming, it's just late

Sorry, Baron Grim. I tried, but couldn't find the headlines in question.


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