YouTube has launched a tool which enables all users to blur faces in the videos they upload to hide their identities.
The Google-owned video website hailed the feature as one that would allow more political activists across the globe to speak out against oppressive governments who would otherwise remain silent.
Recently, YouTube has hosted dozens of videos from the rebellion in Syria, often uploaded by protesters seeking to publicise their struggle.
But the videos have also revealed the identity of rebel fighters opposed to President Bashar al Assad's regime.
As well as letting users remain anonymous in posts, the new tool also allows for the original copy of an uploaded video to be deleted - and kept private.
However, the tool is open to all YouTube users and could spark fears over its use by suspect criminals and gang members.
"Whether you want to share sensitive protest footage without exposing the faces of the activists involved, or share the winning point in your eight-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," Amanda Conway, a YouTube policy associate, said on the company blog post.
However, she warned users the facility may not work in all instances.
"This is emerging technology, which means it sometimes has difficulty detecting faces depending on the angle, lighting, obstructions and video quality. It's possible that certain faces or frames will not be blurred," Ms Conway said.
"Visual anonymity in video allows people to share personal footage more widely and to speak out when they otherwise may not.
"Because human rights footage, in particular, opens up new risks to the people posting videos and to those filmed, it's important to keep in mind other ways to protect yourself and the people in your videos.
"YouTube is proud to be a destination where people worldwide come to share their stories, including activists.
"Along with efforts like the Human Rights Channel and Citizentube that curate these voices, we hope that the new technologies we're rolling out will facilitate the sharing of even more stories on our platform."
According to the company's own statistics, more than 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
The site has grown from its roots as a stage for amateur family videos to a website of wide-ranging content, including disaster-related news. It gets over four billion video views a day.
A study this week by the Pew Research Centre showed events like the 2011 tsunami in Japan were some of the most-watched clips on YouTube.