If you’ve ever tried using Google Street View, you’d know about the service’s privacy security feature. Whenever a person or a vehicle’s license plate number gets caught in the Street View footage, it gets blurred out as a matter of course. That has been the way things are run in Google Street View since 2008, only a year after the official launch, and the software that automatically blurs any image of a human face or license plate is quite efficient at what it does.
A recent article of The Guardian shows just how “overzealous” the blurring software can be. The news agency’s US opinion editor, David Shariatmadari, caught a glimpse of such extreme censoring when he came upon a Street View taken back in the summer 2015, of Coe Fen in Cambridge, England. It showed the Cam River and a paved path running side by side into the distance, with buildings, trees and people in the background too indistinct to make out, some tall grass to one side…and a cow in the foreground, just grazing on the shorter grass next to the Cam. The cow’s face had been blurred in the Street View.
Deciding the Google software snafu was just too darn funny to keep to oneself, Shariatmadari Tweeted a screenshot of the “anonymous” cow Tuesday September 13, with the snarky caption: “Great to see Google takes cow privacy seriously.” As is the thing about the randomness of viral hits, the blurred cow photo quickly amassed 13,000 likes and re-Tweeted nearly 10,000 times.
Google has commented on the Street View photo, especially as the subject was an animal that somehow got its bovine mug mistaken for a human face. In the spirit of things, the spokesman of the search engine colossus put a hilarious spin on their statement, “We thought you were pulling the udder one when we herd the moos, but it’s clear that our automatic face-blurring technology has been a little overzealous. Of course, we don’t begrudge this cow milking its five minutes of fame.”
As for the viral tweet, it’s gotten its fair share of cow pun replies too. To wit:
“Some people think one cow looks much like any udder. Not so!” says one. “Cows should dress more modestly so they don't have to have their faces blurred in shame,” adds a comic reverend.
"Udderly ridiculous"and "Google teat view"were just the beginning of the fun. “I got a beef with that!” went a little below the belt.
But one commenter topped all the nonsense by asking if Google can filter such lame attempts at humor too.
Photo Credit to http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/