In this age of misinformation, how is anyone supposed to know what to trust online? Even if the image you're looking at hasn't been altered in Photoshop, it can still be hard to find out where a picture originated, what context is needed to understand it, or to tell if it's candid or staged. Since it's incredibly easy to take any image and make false statements about it online, Google is introducing an upgrade to its Fact Check Explorer that adds image search.
FCE has been around for a few years now, and lets users verify spurious-sounding claims they come across online. So far, though, its interface has been text-based, limiting its usefulness in retrieving fact check info about images. But now Google is inviting the global fact checking community to beta test a new image search feature — applications to get involved are open to the public.
The tool lets approved users upload or provide a link to an image, and determines if the pic has shown up in any fact checking before. Through context search, you can see where the image appears online, and how it's been associated with different sites over time.
The beta currently has a waitlist, and while it's technically open to the public, it's clear that Google is thinking about how journalists and people in roles like that will use the tool. If that includes you, go ahead and get your name on the list.