Blurred info on videos

Why do they often blur some of the info (usually the date and time) on videos shown on T.V. (Funniest Videos, car chases, etc.)?

WAG 1: to obscure information that might be used to identify individuals (e.g. number plates on cars) – particularly if that individual is involved in a court case and identification might be seen to imply guilt.

WAG 2: to remove traces of obvious brands and avoid charges of sneaky corporate sponsorship.

Other reasons…

Broadcasters have to obey rules. These vary by region, country and mode of broadcast. But, for example, sometimes you have to blur someone’s face unless they have given their consent to being featured in the show. Otherwise, they could kick up a fuss about invasion of privacy. This doesn’t apply to general crowd shots (e.g. a view down a busy street, or a pan across a holiday beach) because no individual is being singled out for attention.

But if one person is obviously being featured, and is clearly the focus of the TV segment, they you need their consent UNLESS you can provide an appropriate excuse, e.g. legitimate public interest, or the person concerned has obviously chosen a role in public life.

In addition, the broadcaster may have an obligation to protect the featured individual so they cannot be traced or contacted by viewers, hence the blurring of things like license plates, house numbers and phone numbers. This comes down to simple common sense in terms fo teh broadcaster not wanting to get sued. Suppose they broadcast something which enables the viewer to deduce your home address. One of the viewers is a psycho, they come and get you. Instant lawsuit from you or your surviving relatives.

These are the way the rules tend to work here in the UK, certainly for free-to-air non-subscription channels.

Another reason for blurring the date and time on home video clips is to obscure how old they are, and not to give away the fact that it’s composed of hacked old recycled clips.

Plate numbers, addresses, faces of individuals I would agree with wholehartedly. Where the reasons are less evident are with kids birthday parties, a moose crossing a highway, etc.

ianzin: I’ve seen videos shown, with date in full view, that were almost ten years old. But who knows?

Anyhow, thanks to you both.