Google launches image verification, anti-misinformation tools

Google Search just launched a set of tools to help users verify images and sources they encounter on the internet. These tools are designed to improve the overall user experience, especially in helping users distinguish between fact and fiction.

About this image

The “About this Image” feature enables users to assess the credibility and context of the images they discover online. It provides information, such as the image’s history, including when it was first detected by Google Search and whether it has been previously published on other websites.

Users can also explore how the image is utilised on other web pages and access insights from news and fact-checking sources.

Also read: Pixel 8’s photo editor pushes image manipulation to a new level

Additionally, users can view metadata that image creators and publishers published with their image. These include indicators that the image was generated or enhanced by AI.

The Fact Check Explorer now includes image searching capabilities, offering a deeper understanding of images and related topics. This feature is particularly beneficial to journalists and fact-checkers as it allows them to discover fact checks conducted by independent organizations worldwide.

Users can upload or input image URLs to check if they have been featured in existing fact checks. The tool also provides an overview of the image’s various contexts and their evolution over time, significantly reducing the time required for fact-checking, as reported by over 70% of beta users.

Search Generative Experience (SGE)

The Search Generative Experience is being introduced to help users learn more about the sources they encounter online.

Users who have opted into SGE through Search Labs will have access to AI-generated source descriptions, complete with links to high-quality websites that discuss the source in question.

Also read: OpenAI’s ChatGPT gets Bing web search and DALL-E 3 image generation

These AI-generated source descriptions will appear in the “more about this page” section of search results when there is no existing overview from Wikipedia or the Google Knowledge Graph.

These enhancements come at a crucial time when the demand for accessible tools to verify online content is higher than ever. A 2023 study by the Poynter Institute’s MediaWise initiative revealed that 70% of respondents lacked confidence in their ability to determine the authenticity and reliability of online images.

Google expressed its commitment to providing users with the tools and resources necessary to navigate search results confidently.

Image credit: Google Blog

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