Don’t be fooled by fake images and videos

Good tips on investigating whether images and videos are real or fake:

  1. A reverse image search is a simple and effective way to see how an image has previously been used. Unlike a typical internet search in which keywords are specified, a reverse image search on Google or TinEye can search for the same or similar images in a vast database.
  2. The metadata for a digital image includes the camera make and model; camera settings like aperture size and exposure time; the date and time when the image was captured; the GPS location where the image was captured; and much more.
  3. When assessing if an image or video is authentic, it is important to understand what is and what is not possible to fake. For example, an image of two people standing shoulder to shoulder is relatively easy to create by splicing together two images. So is an image of a shark swimming next to a surfer. On the other hand, an image of two people embracing is harder to create, because the complex interaction is difficult to fake.
  4. Love this quote: After more than two decades in digital forensics, I’ve come to the conclusion that viral images with sharks are almost always fake. Beware of spectacular shark photos.

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