Google has announced tools for checking online images

Google has announced a new tool that is supposed to combat fake news by identifying inauthentic images. The company hopes that the tool will help find images that have been created with the help of artificial intelligence.

The numerous images and video content shared on social networks can often misinform. As a result, Google decided to make it easier to find images and illustrations that are not authentic.

The tool will not remove images. Instead, it will try to add context to the illustrations. For example, some of the misinformation on social networks is related to certain images that are not adequate for certain events and images are used without any context. The new tools will enable additional information such as image history, meta data, and broader context data that has already been used in the past.

The About this image functionality is already available in English

Google announced this functionality in May, and now after several months it is available. Here are some of the functionalities that the new tool enables.

Image history – users will be able to see when the image or similar images were first spotted on Google Search. This will help give additional context to the image in relation to an event. By doing so, the user will know whether the image is a part of the text or is used only as an illustration.

How other users described the image – If the image was used on other websites users will be able to see how it was used, and what are the comments.

Meta data – If available users will also be able to view metadata. This will also help to know if the image is generated or edited with the help of artificial intelligence. Google mentioned that all images generated by their artificial intelligence will come with this meta data.

As we already mentioned, the functionality is already available on the English version of the search engine. “About this image” is hidden in image search results. The user can find them in the three-dot menu. In addition to image search, the functionality can be found in “more about this page”, although it is hidden, and not easy to find.

Tools for journalists and fact-checkers

Fact Check Explorer is a new functionality designed for journalists and fact checkers. It will allow users to easily find image data that has already been verified by independent organizations from around the world.

The functionality has been in beta since June 2023, and is now officially available. All that needs to be done is to upload the image or copy the URL to it and we will get all the available data.

Since we released this version, over 70% of our beta users reported the new image features helped reduce their investigation time into an image, helping them bring image fact checks online quicker.

The FaceCheck Claim Search API will also be available along with exiting beta. The API will enable the integration of functionality directly into fact-checkers’ tools.

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