Tweetdeck – Reverse Image Search
Verification of public generated content is an extremely important process within a Virtual Operation Support Team (VOST). Google’s Reverse Image Search lets you search by images instead of keywords and although the feature has been around for a number of years, it remains a useful tool for verifying the origin of photographs online.
Google Reverse Image Search has now been built into TweetDeck meaning volunteers can quickly and easily carry out a Google Reverse Image Search on any image in their timeline. This will assist VOST members to quickly identify misinformation circulating online during a deployment.
Tweetdeck – Reverse Image Search – how to do it
The process is simple when using TweetDeck, first select a tweet containing an image, open the image and in the top left corner a small magnifying glass will appear (see below). Clicking the magnifying glass will open Google’s Reverse Image Search in a new browser window.
When you search using an image, Google will present your search results and may include:
- Sites that include the image
- Other sizes of the image you searched for
- Visually similar images
Searching the above image of flooding from Newton Stewart in this way produces the following results. As can be seen the first image listed as ‘visually similar’ is the same image. The Image also features on the DGVOST website providing verification this image is not new and has been copied from our website and reused in our twitter posts.
No match on Google – trustworthy?
If a reverse image searches returns no matches, that doesn’t mean it’s a new image and further checks are required to provide further verification. The Chrome browser plug-in RevEye will search Google’s image database, but also the databases of TinEye, Yandex, Baidu and Bing with just a right click, casting a wider net in the search for original images.
Eyewitnesses are a big part of verifying images or videos and can play a crucial role in providing situational awareness to VOST. Speaking to an eyewitness directly about their photo/video upload will go a long way in verifying their claim an image is genuine.
Google Reverse Image Search out with TweetDeck
Social media location tags
Finally, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook all allow users to tag their location when posting to their social network which, in theory at least, should help volunteers verify where the user is from. HOWEVER, this process is easily manipulated and it is possible to override location tags – they should not be trusted.