Five ways to spot misleading images online

Images can give us proof of events that have happened. Photographic evidence is usually a pretty reliable way of backing up a story. But is seeing always believing?

Images can be misleading. They might only show one side of the story, they can be edited, or they might be taken out of context. Watch the video below to learn what to look out for when spotting misleading images online.


  • Is the image really where it claims to be?
  • Look out for street signs in another language or obvious landmarks that could give away the true location


  • Perspective can be used to show misleading parts of an image
  • It can make objects appear larger than they are or only tell one side of the story
  • Look for other images from the same event to get the full picture

Photoshopping and image editing

  • Look out for missing shadows
  • Look for edges that aren’t properly cropped or pixelated

Fake quotes

  • Ask yourself if you’ve seen the quote before
  • Is it possible that the person has said this? Try to search the quote separately to see if it’s genuine

Reverse image search

If you’re still unsure if an image is genuine or not, a reverse image search can tell you where it has appeared before:

  • Google Image Search
  • RevEye reverse image search
  • TinEye
  • Yandex Images

Where next?

Quiz: Can you spot the real images?
Be social media smart: Is seeing believing?
How false information spreads
Fact or Fake?