Google has announced that its fact-checking tool can now be used to search by images and help users verify their authenticity. The feature, accessible via Google's Fact Check Explorer, is currently in a global beta. Interested users can join the waitlist to try it out.
Journalists, fact checkers, or anyone can use the feature to know if a given image was previously vetted by others. They can either directly upload an image or paste its URL after clicking the image search icon present on the right-hand side of the search bar.
When searching for an image, the fact checker tool provides information on various references of an image present on the web. It can show an overview of different topics and locations associated with an image and help speed up the fact-checking process.
Google notes that one way an image can be manipulated is by using it in the wrong context. The company is testing another feature inside Fact Check Explorer that allows users to trace the timeline and context of an image. For instance, the tool can show when the image was first indexed by Google along with a chronology of its mentions on the web.
Apart from that, more than 35 fact checking organizations have received $25,000 each in the first round of funding led by the International Fact Checking Network (IFCN). This comes from the $13.2 million grant issued by Google and YouTube last year to create a Global Fact Check Fund administered by IFCN.
Among various initiatives, these organizations, spread across 45 countries, will use the funds to modernize their websites, hire new people, and train them to identify misinformation. All of these announcements were made this week at the Global Fact 10 conference hosted in Seoul, South Korea, which was attended by over 500 fact-checkers from around the world.