With photoshopped pictures and deepfakes running rampant on social media, there’s never been a better time to learn how to verify which images are real and which ones are bogus.
In most cases, all you need to do is conduct a quick reverse image search, which should only take a few seconds and a couple of keystrokes.
Google has had reverse image search capability since 2011, but it’s not always easy to navigate—especially if you’re accessing the tool from your phone. Thankfully, there are a few other easy methods that you can use to complete a reverse image search, from Bing to ImgOps. We’ll take you through each, step by step.
Why You Should Be Using Reverse Image Searches
Before we dive into the nitty gritty, let’s talk about the three main use cases for reverse image searches. This isn’t meant to be a definitive list, but the following three situations are unfortunately some of the most common.
1️⃣ To spot manipulated media: Don’t share photos on social media if you don’t know where they came from, especially if you work in a public-facing field where that sort of thing could get you into trouble. Let’s use this Elon Musk deepfake as an example:
It seems pretty improbable that the Tesla CEO took this sharp of a career turn, so you may want to see where the image came from. Simply download the gif and do a quick reverse image search on Google, and you’ll see it was originally a clip of Brock Lesnar, the five-time WWE Champion.