As the field of journalism evolves and changes, so does the sources from which we receive content. Journalists are becoming increasingly dependent on user-generated content and photos that have gone viral on the internet.
While it is great to get readers involved in this way, as technology grows it becomes easy for people to manipulate images in ways that may be overlooked.
For journalists and editors, it’s is important to take advantage of verification tools that supplement our own ethics and logic. TinEye is a great tool for reverse image searching, that is free to everyone.
For this walkthrough, we will focus on the TinEye browser extension, and how it can enhance users’ experiences by making the process much quicker.
Step 1: Find your browser extension
Installing the extension is as simple as two clicks!
Step 2: Find an image
Often times reporters will find images that they may believe to be edited, or possibly a hoax. If you are unsure of the validity, source, or age of a photo, it is time to turn to TinEye.
With the extension installed, there is no need to have the TinEye site open in another tab. Just right-click on the image in question, and scroll down to “search image in TinEye” and the extension will route you to the site’s search results.
Step 3: Filter through search options
For this example, I filtered the search by “oldest” images in order to find out where the photo originated from.
Another great use for these filters is finding the best quality version of the photo. To do this filter the search by “biggest image.”
Step 4: Time to investigate
For this example, I chose a photo of Ariana Grande from the 2018 Met Gala. The initial search of the photo showed it had been used frequently in November of 2018. A quick Google search for the date of the Met Gala could tell us when this particular photo was taken, but in most cases finding the original date of a photo isn’t that easy.
The search result directed me to a story in the online magazine Popsugar. The image on the site was credited to a Getty Images user Kevin Mazur.
Step 5: Celebrate! You’ve verified an image
On the Getty Images site under user Kevin Mazur, I found the original image he had taken of Ariana Grande at the Met Gala on May 7, 2018.
Often times you will find that the image you are searching has been edited, or is much older than your source may claim. By using TinEye, we can expedite the process of confirming a photo’s validity.