How to use the TinEye Verification Tool

By Abby Gilman

TinEye is a reverse image search engine that helps debunk online fakes and hoaxes. In many circumstances, fake or altered photos are posted online and there is no way to verify when the original photo was actually taken.

For example, during the devasting earthquake that hit Nepal in 2015, there was a notable image going around of two young Nepali children that were apparently stuck in the earthquake. The image caption proclaimed that it was of a 2-year-old sister being protected by her 4-year-old brother. After using TinEye, they were able to discover that the photo was actually taken a long time before the earthquake even hit and that it existed on the internet long before. What they found was that the photo was actually posted as early as 2012.

The software uses advanced image identification technology to search the web to find when the original photo was taken. They use online technology and their own software to search the web and find the original photo, when it was taken and who or where the original photo was posted.

To use Tineye, you can either upload an image or search it by the URL. It’s known as a “reverse image search,” because you are doing the opposite of what Google would typically do. You can drag and drop your images into the start search and it will redirect you to a world of knowledge. TinEye is always searching the web to find and add new images to its overall glossary. As of right now, TinEye’s index contains over 32 billion images in its library.

With this technology, we are able to go back in time and fact-check some of the most famous images of this generation.