The growth of fake news in the form of text, videos and photos has preoccupied Brazilians during the 2018 elections. Among the fake news shared on WhatsApp and social networks, there are often modified photos in publishing programs. The proliferation of rumors and incorrect information can be extremely damaging, so it is important to learn how to verify the authenticity of images and report them.
READ: How to know if a fake news by WhatsApp
In addition, it is worth remembering that a true photo can also be used out of context, corroborating with a lie. Check out the following list of five ways to find out if an image has changed.
See tips on how to recognize fake photos and not fall into fake news Photo: Divulgao / Facebook
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1. Look for visible inconsistencies
The first step is to find out if a fake photo is looking for more obvious signs of manipulation in the image. Objects and people with irregular or very precise edges, incompatible lighting and shadows and sizes that do not match the rest of the scene can indicate that the photo has been edited. Photo in very low resolution is also good indication, since the intention may have been to hide traces.
you need to be skeptical. If the image is polemical or brings a great deal of revelation, especially on current issues in society, chances are that it is a montage. Be wary and research before sharing.
Edited photo shows signs of modification Photo: Reproduction / Reddit
2. Do a reverse search on Google
One of the easiest ways to check a photo's past is reverse Google search. On the image search page, click the camera button inside the search box. Then submit the image you want, via upload or link, and the search engine will display the same or similar results.
In this way, it is possible to find the original photo or different versions, in addition to knowing who else has released the image before. Another alternative with the same function is TinEye, a service developed by a company specialized in digital vision, pattern recognition, neural networks and machine learning.
Google allows reverse image search Photo: Reproduo / Isabela Cabral
3. Use tools that detect manipulations
There is an image diagnosis technique called error level analysis (ELA), which helps to find fragments added by editing an image. The photo is processed comparing the error levels of its parts and, thus, those that show significant differences are highlighted. The FotoForensics website does this analysis for free and also provides other information, such as metadata and the percentage of quality in which the file was saved in relation to its original.
FotoForensics website helps to analyze images Foto: Reproduo / Isabela Cabral
4. Check the metadata
Metadata is information embedded in an image file. There are dozens of data, including the camera model, the ISO, the shutter speed, the zoom and sometimes even the date and place where the photo was taken, in addition to the software that processed it. Some sites allow you to view this metadata easily, such as FindExif (findexif), ExifData (exifdata) and Metapicz (metapicz).
When a photo goes through an editing tool, parts of the metadata can be removed or added. The absence of data often indicates changes, but it is not a certainty. If the information from the source camera is intact, it is usually a good sign.
Metadata reveal information about photographs Photo: Reproduo / Isabela Cabral
The presence of "Photoshop" or another such program in the list may or may not be relevant, since the editor may have made only basic adjustments, such as size and coloring. Another point to be considered is the date, which can refer to when the photograph was taken or when the file was modified and saved.
5. Check the place where the photo was taken
Depending on the subject of the photo, knowing where and when it was captured and comparing it to the location using other sources can be useful. Sometimes the place is recognizable, so the information is obvious. If not, as mentioned earlier, metadata can include the location. But if you are not so lucky, you will need to examine the details of the image.
Signs, weather, landscape, clothing, advertisements, buildings, shops. All of these can help determine the location and, in some cases, be proof of forgery. To investigate the place where the photo was supposedly taken, use Google Maps, which contains images from around the world, and Geofeedia (geofeedia), a platform that brings together photos from various social networks by geographic location. Always pay attention, however, to the compatibility of dates.
You can view photos by location on Google Maps Photo: Reproduo / Isabela Cabral