How to Fact Check! Part 3: Reverse Image Search

So we’ve talked a lot about how to tell if a claim made online is fake. But sometimes you don’t have to go to a website to be fooled; social media is filled with doctored and altered images. How can you tell the real pictures from the fake ones?

A good first step is to reverse image search! There are a few different options to do this, but the most commonly used are Google’s reverse Image search and tineye.com. For either website, either save the image you want to check or copy its URL. Then, look for the source! Both search engines look at the vital components of the image, bringing back visually similar pictures. Often, if the picture you saved was doctored,  the original will show up among the results.

Here’s a popular but fake picture.

And here’s the original image, found with reverse image searching.

 

Reverse image searching won’t always give you a definitive answer, but it’s a good first step toward looking critically at what you consume online. Try it out!