Finding out if a photo is fake can be useful to not be fooled by fake profiles and disinformation shares. Even with technologies capable of masking edits at first, some techniques can help to check the veracity of received media. Among them, use apps like Google Lens and Pinterest, as they can find similar results on the web. In addition, it can also be important to verify metadata and identify common characteristics in altered photos. Here’s how to find out if an image is fake.
Google Lens is one of the apps that can help you identify fake photos and profiles; check full list — Photo: Unsplash
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Google Lens is an image recognition tool that has its own application available for Android phones. To use the feature to identify fake photos, just go to the platform, tap the camera icon and select an image to perform the search – in this case, the photo of the person you suspect. Once this is done, if the same photo is shown as a similar result, it may be an indication that the profile is fake.
On Pinterest, an application available for Android and iPhone (iOS), the procedure is similar. To do this, press the magnifying glass button and then, in the search bar displayed at the top of the screen, tap the camera icon. On the screen that will open, open your gallery and select the image you want to find out if it’s fake. Once this is done, the application will present you with similar results through the “Explore” tab, and thus it may be possible to recognize possible edits or find the same photo coming from another web address.
Google Lens and Pinterest can help identify if a photo is fake — Photo: Reproduction/Júlio César Gonsalves
Do a reverse search on Google
You can also use the Google app to search for a photo. When opening the finder, just tap the camera icon and then load an image. Once that’s done, look for relevant information that can help you identify if the image has been altered or if it’s being used out of context.
It is important to check the history of the image, comparing the dates and the web address where the photo is being used. Also note that the weather is suitable for the time and place where the photo was supposedly taken. Words on road signs, billboards, businesses, and even the style of clothing can provide information about where the image came from.
Google Lens — Photo: Reproduction/Júlio César Gonsalves
Look for watermark of deepfake apps
Deepfake is a technique that uses artificial intelligence to create videos and images with edited faces. The feature is generally used to create media through celebrity features, for fun. However, its ability to produce very realistic content can make the tool dangerous, as it can be used in fake profiles or to spread fake news.
In order not to be fooled by a deepfake, the first step is to look for any sign of watermark in the image to be verified. The symbol is usually used precisely to prevent misuse, and therefore can help to make recognitions.
Example of editing in Deepfake app — Photo: Reproduction/Júlio César Gonsalves
Also, these edits, while well done, aren’t perfect. In this sense, a closer look can help the user to identify signs that the photo has been edited. Look at the face, for example, and look for details that might look strange – like the eyes, as they are difficult points to adjust and can leave traces of the edit. Images with a very blurred background and parts of the face that are cut off, for example, can also have a chance of being fake.
Use apps to verify metadata
Metadata is information present in an image file, such as the date and time the photo was taken, camera model used, applications that did the processing, and more. Therefore, the data may show signs of tampering, if applicable.
On Android, user can use Photo EXIF Editor to check this information. To do this, just open the app, tap on the “Photos” option, and then select the image you want to investigate. At the end of loading, the application will display various data about the file.
On iPhone (iOS) phones, however, it is possible to use EXIF Metadat. When selecting an image in the app, the user has access to various metadata. The app is free to test, but there is a Premium version that can be purchased for an annual fee of US$ 4.99 (about R$ 26.42 at the current price) and frees up more features.
Home screen and search screen of Photo EXIF Editor for Android, which has a Premium version without ads for R$ 9.49. — Photo: Reproduction/Júlio César Gonsalves
Look for photo editing errors/evidence
To identify a fake photo, look for direct signs of editing. After all, even well-done changes often leave clues. In this sense, look for jagged edges on objects and people. Also note the proportion of all elements, as if there is something that appears to be of a size that does not match the rest of the photo, it is an indication that it was added later.
In addition, lighting can also point to a change in the image. So check that all elements of the photo have the same intensity, for example. Another point that can denounce a montage is the quality of the photo, since the addition of noise is a trick often used to hide edits.
Look for clear signs of editing to identify fake photos — Photo: Reproduction/Júlio César Gonsalves
See too: How to know if a photo is fake? See tips to find out
How to know if a photo is fake? See tips to find out