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Top 3 Tips for Spotting Fake Photos Online

Jul 26, 2018

With so many photos being shared online every single day (3.5million photos were shared every single minute in 2016), you can be forgiven for retweeting or posting an image that is actually fake.

With everything that’s going on in the world, a variety of doctored images have found themselves shared by millions of social media users, including political scenes of Trump and Putin and National Geographic images of sharks. We’ve put together our top tips to stop you getting fooled by fake imagery that requires some pretty impressive Photoshop skills.

Look out for Signs

Look out for signs that prove the image has been edited- missing or stretched limbs, wonky lines and objects with half missing. Image editing software is becoming more and more advanced, and so it seems to be easier than ever to produce fake images that look like the real deal. If you can’t find anything obviously wrong with the image, delve deeper into the lighting and shadows to see if they look right. You could even conduct a background check of the photo to see if the latest news matches up with the image.

Do a Reverse Image Search

Have you ever done a reverse search on an image? The tool allows you to search for matches based on a specific image and is the ideal way to spot photos that may have been edited. You can search by file or image URL on Google, and you can also use websites like Tin Eye, which do the same thing.

Whilst the reverse image search may just find matches of the exact same photograph that has been shared by different sources, you may also find the original, unedited image too.

Check out the Data

If a suspect image has no signs of tampering and can’t be found via a reverse search, you can try delving deeper into its files. EXIF data can be accessed through your image editor or an online app and can show you where, and when, the image was taken. However, the data can be wiped or edited, so it’s not always possible to find it.

Alternatively, you can look at the levels and filters of the image, which can easily reveal previous edits that have been made.

Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to tell the difference between an edited image and the real deal but using these tips can help you to identify the truth.

How We Can Help

If you’re searching for images online to share on your company’s social media or to add to your website, feel free to get in touch with us for some friendly advice. We have access to a brilliant bank of stock imagery and can also offer a photo shoot of your products or premises, which is much more reliable than trusting images you have stumbled across online!



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