Google Search Now Provides Source Data for Images
In a significant development, Google’s search engine has introduced integrated tools for sourcing data about images’ origins. The company initially announced the “About this image” feature in May of this year, and it’s now available in the English-language version of the search engine globally. This option empowers users to verify the context and authenticity of images they encounter on the internet.
Using this tool, you can now:
- Image History: Discover when an image first appeared in Google search results and find out when it was published on other webpages. This feature is particularly valuable when images are taken out of context and republished in connection with different events.
- How Other Websites Use and Describe the Image: The tool directs users to external resources where the image is used, including news websites and fact-checking portals. This information is useful for evaluating claims made regarding images and for examining evidence and opinions from various sources.
- Image Metadata: The feature lets you see the metadata that creators or publishers have added to the image, including information about AI usage. Images created by Google AI have a distinct label.
Google provides an example of using this tool to identify a photo of the “Crooked House” in Sopot, Poland. To access the feature, you can click on the image, then click on the three dots and select “About this Image.” Google promises to introduce more ways to access this tool in the coming months.
Another noteworthy function within the search engine is the “Fact Check Explorer.” This tool offers journalists and fact-checkers a more comprehensive way to learn about an image or topic. The Fact Check Explorer allows users to find fact-check analyses conducted by independent organizations worldwide.
In the summer, Google launched the global beta version of the tool, which enables users to upload or copy the URL of any image into the fact-checking explorer to see mentions of that image in fact-checking analyses. According to the company, over 70% of beta testers reported that this feature helped them save time on image research and fact-checking in general.
Additionally, Google has released a beta version of the FactCheck Claim Search API, allowing users to integrate the tool into their own solutions.
This enhancement to Google’s search capabilities holds the potential to bolster fact-checking efforts, promote image authenticity, and provide users with valuable context regarding the images they encounter on the internet. It’s a step toward making online information more transparent and reliable.
- I'm Martin Harris, a tech writer with extensive experience, contributing to global publications. Trained in Computer Science, I merged my technical know-how with writing, becoming a technology journalist. I've covered diverse topics like AI and consumer electronics, contributing to top tech platforms. I participate in tech events for knowledge updating. Besides writing, I enjoy reading, photography, and aim to clarify technology's complexities to readers.
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