How to Uncensor a Picture

Censored pictures are designed to specifically block sections of a photo by painting over a specific area or through a blurred effect caused by pixelating the photo. There is no magic censor remover or quick and easy solution to restoring photos and in some cases, removing the blur is simply impossible. The best censored photo editor you can use is your existing photo editing program or a program like Adobe Photoshop or the Inpaint editor. Artificial intelligence programs are in development that could uncensor photos but current versions are essentially using an automated process similar to the manual operations discussed in this article.

Image Credit: dusanpetkovic/iStock/GettyImages

Accessing the File

The easiest method of removing a censor is through ownership of the photo. If you own the photo and added the censor, you may have the ability to remove the censor and restore the photo. Ideally, you will save a copy of the original before censoring any photographs. Open the photo file in the same program used to add the censor. Every program is a little different and you must work backwards to remove the censor by highlighting the censor, accessing the censor tool and selecting the option to remove pixelation. Or simply run a sequence of "Edit" and "Undo" selections until you remove the censored action. If you simply saved a copy of the file from a third party source and do not hold ownership of the original, you will have no access to previous edits and cannot remove censors in this manner.

Retouching a Censored Image

One method of removing censors is through the strategic reduction of pixelation. The process works best on general detail where the censored area has similar color and few details. Open the photo in Inpaint or Photoshop and use the magic wand tool to highlight the censored area. Select the retouching tool and the program will actually act as a censor remover. The catch is the way it removes the censor. The program will restore as much of the pixelated area as possible but areas where it cannot read beneath the blur are restored using a mirror of the surrounding area. In essence, the area will blend into the photo but without actually being restored to the original form.

Copyright Infringement

Censored photos are often blurred and blocked for specific reasons. In many cases, the content beneath the censor is sensitive and intentionally kept private. It may contain anything from a bank number to nudity. If you do not own the photo, making alterations without permission can violate the copyright. Intentionally exposing sensitive information is unethical at the least. Pay attention to the photo source and always obtain permission before saving and using photos that are not yours.

references